What are the COVID-19 Vaccines Available in the UAE?

In the UAE, four vaccines against COVID-19 infection are available: one from Sinopharm, another from Pfizer-BioNTech, a third from Sputnik V, and the most recent from Oxford-AstraZeneca.

READ ALSO: Residents Aged 16 and Above Can Avail of Free Vaccination in UAE

These vaccines may vary in terms of technology, but they all function to strengthen the immune system. It’s important to realise that COVID-19 vaccines do not contain a live virus and are capable of eliciting an immune response without causing illness.

What are the COVID-19 Vaccines Available in the UAE?
Credits: WHO, NCEMA

Guide to the COVID-19 Vaccines in the UAE

The UAE is providing these vaccines free of charge and on an opt-in basis to its people and residents after ensuring that they do not have any conditions or symptoms that would make them inadvisable. COVID-19 vaccines are not recommended for nursing mothers, pregnant women, or infants.

Vaccines against COVID-19 are available for medically qualified people and residents in the UAE, free of charge, according to the priority declared by the UAE’s health authorities from time to time.

Where to Book an Appointment?

Make an appointment with one of the following authorities:

  • Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHaP) through the COVID-19 UA‪E app available on Google Play and App Store
  • SEHA through the SEHA app available on Google Play and App Store for vaccination at their drive-through centres and temporary sites across the UAE
  • Dubai Health Authority through the DHA app available on App Store and Google Play or the call centre by calling on the toll-free number 800-342.

Who Are the People on Priority for the Vaccines?

  • UAE nationals and their domestic workers
  • Residents and senior citizens (those who are 60 years old and above)
  • People of Determination
  • People suffering from long-term illnesses
  • Those who work in health and education facilities.

For those interested to get vaccinated in the UAE, posted below is a video from the UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) regarding the steps in getting the vaccine and some of the potential side effects of getting vaccinated against COVID-19:

To learn more on how you can book an appointment for the vaccine here in Dubai, check out this guide.

A Look on the Vaccines Offered in the UAE

Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine

On December 9, 2020, the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) declared that the ‘Beijing Institute of Biological Products’ inactivated vaccine, also known as the ‘Sinopharm vaccine,’ which was established in collaboration with Sinopharm – CNBG, had been officially registered (China National Biotec Group).

According to MOHAP, Sinopharm-interim CNBG’s review of the phase III trials of Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine produced in China has:

  • 86 per cent efficiency against COVID-19 infection
  • 99 per cent seroconversion rate of neutralising antibody
  • 100 per cent effectiveness in preventing moderate and severe cases of the disease.

Furthermore, the results of the investigation show that there are no significant safety issues.

Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHaP) declared the emergency registration of Pfizer-COVID-19 BioNTech’s vaccine on December 22, 2020, and the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) began a free vaccination campaign against COVID-19 the following day.

For whom is the vaccine intended?

Dubai’s first phase campaign focuses on the following:

  • Emiratis and Dubai residents aged 60 and up are eligible.
  • People who are 18 years old or older who have a chronic illness
  • Frontline staff who are tenacious.
  • The vaccine is given in two doses, each of which must be taken separately. There is a 21-day difference between the two doses.

Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) approved Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in the UAE on January 21, 2021. The vaccine is based on a platform that uses human adenoviral vectors. Its efficacy against COVID-19 has been reported at 91.4 percent, with 100 percent efficacy against extreme cases of the disease.

Based on more than 33,000 participants in Russia’s Phase III clinical trials, the vaccine was approved for emergency use. The UAE also took part in phase III clinical trials for the vaccine, with over 1,000 volunteers receiving the first dose under the supervision of the MoHAP and the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi.

The Russian Federation’s Ministry of Health and the Gamaleya National Centre of Epidemiology and Microbiology developed the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine.

Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine

Interim guidelines for the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine have been provided by the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) (AZD1222).

WHO has identified two variants of the vaccine – AstraZeneca-SKBio (Republic of Korea) and the Serum Institute of India – for emergency use. The vaccine had already been reviewed by the European Medicines Agency when it was considered by SAGE (EMA).

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has thoroughly reviewed the data on the vaccine’s consistency, safety, and efficacy and has recommended that it be granted conditional marketing authorisation for people aged 18 and up.

The WHO’s Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety, a network of experts who offer impartial and reliable advice on vaccine safety, collects and evaluates evidence of possible international impact.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is the Vaccination Mandatory?

No, vaccination against COVID-19 is optional in the UAE.

  1. Is it possible to take another dose of the vaccine from another manufacturer?

To ensure vaccine protection and efficacy, two doses of the vaccine should be taken from the same manufacturer.

  1. Is it safe to take more than one type of COVID-19 vaccine?

To insure vaccine protection and efficacy, two doses of the same vaccine from the same manufacturer should be taken.

  1. Who should not take the vaccine?

No, taking various forms of COVID-19 vaccine is not safe.

  1. What to do if I experience any side effects due to the vaccine?

You should visit the local healthcare facility or hospital, or call the health authority’s call centre.

  1. What do I do after taking vaccine?

After you’ve had the first dose, make a note of when you’ll get the second. It is important to receive two doses of the vaccine in order to achieve maximum vaccine efficacy.

It is also important to continue to take all necessary precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

  1. Can I give COVID-19 to anyone, after I have had the vaccine?

COVID-19 vaccine is a critical step in combating the pandemic. The best defense against the COVID-19 virus is a combination of having vaccinated and taking all precautionary steps to prevent the virus from spreading.

  1. Are people who received the vaccine exempted from home or institutional quarantine?

Exemption from quarantine is granted 28 days after the second dose has been received. It’s critical to perform the necessary tests (PCR):

Arrivals: day one, day four, and day six.

Close contacts with a positive COVID-19 case should complete the rest of the testing process at the nearest approved testing facility within 24-48 hours of receiving the notification/text message.

  1. Can I stop taking precautionary measures after getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

No, for the time being, you must continue to follow all of the COVID-19 virus prevention recommendations, such as wearing a mask, keeping a safe distance, and washing your hands.

Disclaimer: This guide is published for information-sharing purposes only. Should you have more specific concerns and queries regarding the vaccination programme in the UAE, please visit the UAE government’s official portal as managed by the Supreme National Council for Emergencies (NCEMA) at https://www.ncema.gov.ae/en/home.aspx.

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