COVID – 19 Vaccine in the United Arab Emirates

Dr. Ahmed Abdelhameed, Medical Director and Internal Medicine, Medcare Women & Children Hospital, Dubai

The United Arab Emirates has begun the vaccination drive for citizens and residents of the country.

Which are the two vaccines and which one is recommended?

There are two vaccines that people can opt to take in the UAE. The first is a Chinese in origin vaccine developed by a company called, Sinopharm and the other one is American made by a company called, Pfizer.

Up until now, both vaccines have proven a good rate of efficacy and safety and the selection of which vaccine should one take is based on the availability of the vaccine.

Who should take it and who shouldn’t?

Until now, vaccine is not recommended for children aged less than 16 years, pregnant women and women planning to get pregnant in the next 3 months, people with severe forms of allergy and who have had a past history of vaccine-related severe reactions. The regulation regarding who should take the vaccine, is done taking in consideration, prioritizing the high risk groups.

What is the process for the two vaccines? (Dosage and timelines)

The vaccine is given in 2 doses in a gap of 21 days. Each dose is a single intramuscular injection.

How long will the immunity last?

The duration of immunity gained by the vaccine is still under study and currently, the exact duration of protection given by the vaccine cannot be entirely established.

Can a person taking the jab of one particular brand of vaccine now, take another brand’s vaccine when the immunity cycle is over?

As per currently available information, it is not allowed to take the first dose of vaccine from a certain brand and the second dose from a different brand. The vaccine process should be with one particular brand and in the uniform and prescribed manner.