An Emirati man gets vaccinated against the COVID-19 at Al-Barsha Health Centre. AFP
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Dubai's Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management said that the extensive vaccination campaign against Covid-19 has started in the emirate since Wednesday.
The emirate is using Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine and it is free of charge.
According to sources, a person with a valid Dubai visa can book an appointment with DHA’s accredited facilities using the toll free number 800342.
Authorities said that the Medical Record Number (MRN) is a must for booking an appointment.
In case the MRN is not available, the person must reach out to DHA. The staff will explain the process for booking an appointment.
Senior citizens and people with chronic diseases will be given preferences.
An official associated with the situation said that the vaccine will be made available at Zabeel Health Centre, Al Barsha Health Centre, Nad Al Hammar and Al Mamzar health centres in Dubai.
The vaccine produced by US pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech -- which proved to be 95 per cent effective in late-stage clinical trials — is administered in two doses, 21 days apart.
The vaccine must be stored at -70 degrees Celsius (-94 degrees Fahrenheit), a temperature much lower than standard freezers and which forced the company to develop special containers for transport.
Taking part in the vaccination campaign remains voluntary in the UAE, but officials have encouraged the population to be inoculated.
Dubai on Tuesday night received the first batch of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccines shipment from Brussels.
The shipment was offloaded and cleared on priority basis on arrival at Emirates’ dedicated SkyPharma facility.
The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has announced the emergency registration of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID -19 vaccine as part of the UAE's comprehensive and integrated efforts to ensure increased prevention levels against the pandemic and to provide all tools to ensure public health and safety in support of the healthcare system.
The UAE has recorded over 195,800 coronavirus cases and more than 600 deaths.
The government said that the new mutation of the COVID-19 would not affect the effectiveness of the vaccination for coronavirus.
The decision comes in response to a request by Pfizer to approve the emergency registration of the vaccine so that concerned health authorities can import it after fulfilling the international standards and guidelines for the safe and efficient shipping of the vaccine, specially that the US Food and Drug Administration's reviews have confirmed its safety and efficacy after passing the clinical trials.
This was stated by Dr. Amin Hussain Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary of Public Health Policy & Licensing, who added that "Authorising the registration of the vaccine comes after Pfizer had submitted all required documents in compliance with the measures and systems in place in the UAE and in accordance with international safety and effectiveness standards."
On Sunday, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) begins vaccinating priority groups of Dubai government employees against the coronavirus, using the Pfizer vaccine.
Member states are struggling to contain a third wave of the epidemic and kick-start vaccine programmes slowed by a shortfall in deliveries, and Britain has warned the bloc against resorting "vaccine nationalism."
The announcement comes as the Ministry of Health and Prevention on Sunday expanded coronavirus vaccine eligibility in line with the UAE's proactive policy to ensure the health and safety of all community members.
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Interior Ministry spokesperson Mirwais Stanekzai said, a powerful explosion followed by a gun battle between Afghan security forces and insurgents took place the night before. He said the casualty toll could rise.