Updated 22 February, 2021
The United Arab Emirates kicked off its mass COVID-19 vaccination program in mid-December with the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine. By now, it has also approved three more vaccines for emergency use- Pfizer/BioNTech, Sputnik V, and the latest addition to the list, Oxford/AstraZeneca.
Following the clinical trials and the voluntary vaccination program, we take a closer look at the Sinopharm vaccine, its results, price, side effects and more, as it is rolled out to millions of people.
Here is everything you need to know about the Sinopharm vaccine in the UAE.
How does the Sinopharm vaccine work?
There are currently three prevalent types of vaccines being developed in regards to COVID-19. In layman’s terms, these are inactivated virus vaccine, weakened virus vaccine and mRNA vaccine.
Sinopharm relies on the older but tested technology, which involves taking an inactivated form of the virus to stimulate the body’s immune response.
How effective is the Sinopharm Vaccine?
Based on the available data, the Sinopharm vaccine is reported to have 100 percent protection from moderate and severe forms of Covid-19. Its overall efficacy rate is 86 percent.
Dr. Walid Zaher, chief research officer and vaccine project leader of G42 Healthcare said that taking the vaccine will “prevent you completely from having any severe or moderate side effects from Covid-19.”
So far, around 8% of the UAE population have been inoculated with the vaccine, including the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. With the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine being rolled out in Dubai as well, the UAE will see more and more of its residents getting inoculated in the coming weeks.
Furthermore, the Sinopharm vaccine may soon be cleared for use in children and adolescents aged 3 to 17 before March. However, since children between the age range of 3 to 5 still have a developing immune system, the administering of the vaccine must be carefully and closely monitored.
As per MOHAP, Sinopharm-CNBG’s interim analysis of the phase III trials of Chinese-made Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine, it has:
- 86% efficiency against COVID-19 infection
- 99% seroconversion rate of neutralizing antibody
- 100% effectiveness in preventing moderate and severe cases of the disease.
Are there any known side effects?
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention has released an official statement stating no serious safety concerns have been reported. However, it’s important to note that neither Sinopharm nor the UAE has released detailed data on the trial of 31,000 participants.
Sinopharm Vaccine in the UAE
Following the emergency use authorization to safeguard the health of frontline workers in September, on 9 December 2020, the United Arab Emirates became the first country outside of China to register the vaccine manufactured by the Chinese state-owned behemoth, Sinopharm.
Who’ll get the Sinopharm vaccine first?
In the case of the Sinopharm jabs, priority will be given to citizens and residents aged 18 and above, particularly, the elderly and those suffering from chronic diseases.
The vaccine isn’t available to the following groups yet:
• Pregnant women
• Nursing mothers
• People with immunodeficiency diseases
• Woman planning to become pregnant within the near future (3 months from taking the vaccine)
• Children under the age of 16 years
• People with severe allergic reaction to any component in the vaccine.
For 6 weeks, from 7 February to 21 March, all the vaccination centres in the UAE will be dedicated to senior citizens, individuals with chronic illnesses like heart problems, diabetes, and respiratory diseases, and the People of Determination.
Department of Health dedicates all Covid-19 vaccination centres in Abu Dhabi and other emirates to all citizens and residents who are senior citizens, people with chronic diseases, and People of Determination for six weeks starting 7 Feb. pic.twitter.com/EUlz06oizj— مكتب أبوظبي الإعلامي (@admediaoffice) February 7, 2021
Where to get the Sinopharm vaccine in the UAE?
For Dubai residents, the Sinopharm vaccine can be acquired at Dubai Parks and Resorts field hospital, Al Ittihad Health Centre (Available for Families – Medical staff – Educational staff only), Dubai Mall, Nad Al Hamr Health Centre, Al Twar Health Centre, and Al Mankhool Health Centre.
For residents of Abu Dhabi, all of SEHA clinics along with VPS healthcare’s hospitals and clinics serve as vaccination centers. Some of which are as follows:
The vaccine is also available at SEHA’s drive-through centres and the following locations:
- Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal, Abu Dhabi City – from 7 am to 10 pm
- Al Ain Convention Center, Al Ain City – from 7 am to 10 pm
- Dubai Parks & Resort, Dubai – from 8 am to 5 pm
- Madinat Zayed Wedding Hall, Al Dhafra – from 8 am to 7:30 pm.
For all other emirates, you can consult the map above or find out where you can get vaccinated in the UAE.
The vaccine is also being administered in select hospitals across the country.
To meet the growing requirements & the increased demand for COVID-19 Vaccine, we announce expanding the vaccination campaign in cooperation with a number of private hospitals in the country#TogetherWeRecover#covid19#mohap_uae pic.twitter.com/fdsEaJSzH3— وزارة الصحة ووقاية المجتمع الإماراتية – MOHAP UAE (@mohapuae) January 11, 2021
Registering for the jabs
The Sinopharm vaccination rollout is voluntary in nature with certain groups being prioritized over the rest of the population. As such, to register for the Sinopharm vaccination, you’ll need to get in contact with SEHA and secure your appointment. Please reach out to SEHA call center on 800 50 and prepare your valid Emirates ID and your Ministry health card.
The Sinopharm shot will be administered in two doses set three weeks apart. After your initial shot, you would be notified of your second dose via SMS.
How much is the price of the Sinopharm vaccine?
For UAE residents, the Sinopharm vaccine will be provided by the government completely free of charge.