After implementing strict precautionary measures, city-wide sanitation drives, and a year of fighting the coronavirus, no stones have been left unturned to combat the pandemic in the UAE. Over the summer of 2020, the UAE has already been working with international biopharmaceutical companies in the research and development of vaccines against the virus. And in early December 2020, the first dose of the COVID-19 inoculation was made available to the public, making the UAE among one of the first countries to get access to this most-awaited vaccine.
Find out all you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccines available in the country, including cost, eligibility, FAQs, and where to get the shots.
Which vaccines are available in the UAE?
There are three vaccines in the UAE that are qualified for individual use against the COVID-19 infection. Currently, two COVID-19 vaccines are being administered to the public. One of which is the CNBG’s Sinopharm vaccine developed by the Beijing Institute of Biological Products. The Sinopharm vaccine went through trial in the UAE in the summer of 2020 and was tested on over 31,000 volunteers. On 9 December 2020, the vaccine was officially registered in the country.
The Pfizer-BioNTech is the second vaccine available in the UAE. On 22 December 2020, the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) announced the emergency registration of the Pfizer vaccine in the country. The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of the vaccine in the UAE and Dubai has announced the use of the Pfizer vaccine on 23 December 2020.
As of 21 January 2021, MoHAP also announced its approval of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in the UAE.
What do I need to know about the shots?
The Sinopharm vaccine which was jointly developed with China National Biotec Group (CNBG) is officially registered as the Beijing Institute of Biological Products’ “inactivated vaccine”. The vaccine requires two shots. The first dose is given following the assessment of the patient’s health and the second dose is taken after a period of 21 to 28 days.
As per MoHAP, the Chinese-made vaccine exemplifies the following qualities:
Efficacy rate against the COVID-19 infection:
Seroconversion rate in the body:
Seroconversion is the period during which a specific antibody becomes detectable in the bloodstream
Effectiveness in preventing moderate and severe cases of the disease:
The Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine uses new mRNA technology that tricks the body into developing viral protein, which in turn will trigger an immune response. The vaccine also requires two doses, taken separately. The second dose is taken after a gap of 21 days. The US and EU collaborated vaccine has passed all three phases of the trial process.
Efficacy rate against the
Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine was developed by the Gamaleya Institute and the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation. The adenoviral vector-based platform technology, on which the vaccine is based, delivers genetic instruction for SARS-CoV-2 antigens into the patient’s cells, triggering an immune response.
The UAE also participated in phase III clinical trials of the vaccine with more than 1,000 volunteers who received the first dosage under MoHAP supervision. Just as the two former vaccines, Sputnik V also requires 2 doses.
Efficacy rate against the COVID
What is the cost of the vaccine?
There is no cost for obtaining the vaccine in the UAE. Eligible individuals may book an appointment with COVID-19 vaccination centers in Dubai, free of charge.
What are the things to prepare prior to getting the vaccine?
It is advised that before going to any of the health centers to take the COVID-19 vaccine, to carefully read and sign the consent form on the MoHAP portal. (Link: MoHAP) UAE citizens and residents must also bring their valid Emirates ID.
Who are eligible to take the COVID-19 vaccine?
The Sinopharm vaccine has been rolled out for public use and is offered to citizens and residents above the age of 18, especially the elderly and those suffering from chronic diseases.
At the moment, the first phase of Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA) campaign targets the following for vaccination:
How to get the COVID-19 Vaccine in Dubai?
It is not required to book an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Dubai. Residents may receive the free vaccine at the Dubai Parks and Resort Field Hospital vaccine centers from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Alternatively, you may book an appointment via the DHA hotline 800-342 or register on DHA’s mobile application.
Where to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Dubai?
Here are three public healthcare centers administering the vaccine in Dubai:
Opening Hours: Fridays and Saturdays, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Phone Number: 800 11111
Opening Hours: Fridays and Saturdays, 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Phone Number: 04 266 6978
Opening Hours: Fridays and Saturdays, 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Phone Number: 04 261 5325
For more information on the vaccination centers in Dubai and across the UAE, visit the MoHAP website here. (Link: MoHAP)
What are the usual side effects when taking the COVID-19 vaccine?
Health authorities in the UAE alleviate any worries the public may have regarding the possible side effects after vaccination and encourage people to get vaccinated. According to the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), any side effects are normal after receiving a COVID-19 or any vaccine. These symptoms are usually mild and can be treated with a cold press or painkillers.
The usual side effects can include mild fever or redness and swelling on the injected area because of the shot. Other symptoms may also include a feeling of tiredness or fatigue. These symptoms usually manifest within 24 hours of receiving the shot and effects will normalize and subside after 24 hours. After which, the person is ready to receive the second dose of the vaccine, 21 days apart.
Am I exempt from taking precautionary measures and quarantines after getting vaccinated?
No, those who have received the vaccine are not exempted from wearing face masks, taking PCR tests, or adhering to social distancing and quarantine measures. All precautionary measures still apply to all citizens and residents in the UAE.
That wraps up our guide on COVID-19 vaccination centers in the UAE. We are at the frontier of combatting this viral infection. If you have opted to get vaccinated, please ensure to stay safe and responsible.