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Updated 5 August 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 four more vaccines for emergency use- Pfizer/BioNTech, Sputnik V, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna. Moreover, the country is domestically manufacturing the Hayat Vax

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.” The UAE has now administered more than six million coronavirus vaccine doses. Most of these have been the Sinopharm vaccine. 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. 

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.

On 27 March, China announced that, following the successful role out of the Sinopharm vaccine in the Gulf country, it will be working closely with the UAE to produce the COVID-19 vaccine. An Abu-Dhabi-based plant of UAE’s Group 42 (G42) company will soon start producing the vaccine under license from the Chinese company. The collaboration is expected to boost bilateral production, making the doses not only cheaper, but also widely available locally as well as globally.
The two countries will also work in tandem to ease travel restrictions for vaccinated passengers.


Who’ll get the Sinopharm vaccine first?

In the case of the Sinopharm jabs, priority will be given to citizens and residents aged 3 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)
• People with severe allergic reaction to any component in the vaccine.

Sinopharm jabs have been recently approved by the UAE’s Health Ministry for children aged between 3-17 years of age. The administration of the vaccine is based on the emergency use authorisation and local evaluations which are in line with the approved regulations.

The vaccine is also available to all eligible Emiratis over 16 years of age, as the six-week priority entitlement is now over. Note that it is mandatory for them to take appointments, as walk-in vaccinations are reserved only for the most vulnerable people.

Dubai, too, has expanded its vaccination program to include Dubai resident visa holders aged 40 and above. They can now register at Dubai Health Authority facilities to receive the jabs.

The DHA will also accept registrations from elderly individuals above 60 years of age with a valid resident visa issued in any emirate if they can prove they are residing in Dubai.


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
Al Mankhool Health Centre
Hor Al Anz Health Centre
Al Qusais Health Centre
One Central at World Trade Centre

For residents of Abu Dhabi, all SEHA clinics along with VPS healthcare’s hospitals and clinics serve as vaccination centers. Some of which are as follows:

Burjeel Hospital, Al Najdah Street – Abu Dhabi
Burjeel Medical City, 28th St – Mohamed Bin Zayed City
Medeor 24×7 Hospital, Al Falah St – Zone 1 – Abu Dhabi
LLH Hospital, Muroor Road Zone 1E3-02 – Abu Dhabi
Burjeel Medical Center, Makani Mall, Al Shamkha
Burjeel Medical Center, Deerfields Mall, Shahama
Burjeel Medical Center, Precinct B-01 Al Zeina
Burjeel Medical Center, Yas Mall
Burjeel Day Surgery Center, Al Reem Island
Burjeel Oasis Medical Center, Beda Zayed
Tajmeel Kids Park, Shahama. 12 Street, Emirates Park Zoo and Resorts, Shahama
Mediclinic Al Noor Hospital, Abu Dhabi 
Lifecare Hospital, M-24, Musaffah, Near Village Mall
LLH Hospital, M 7, Al Mussafah
Occumed Clinic, Musaffah Industrial, Musaffah

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.


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.


Sinopharm booster dose

On 18 May, the Emirati health authorities approved a booster dose of the Sinopharm vaccine. To further increase the efficacy of the vaccine, the country will be administering a third of the vaccine to vaccinated individuals, 6 months after they complete the two-dose regimen. Priority would be given to senior citizens and people with chronic diseases.

This move is part of the UAE’s “proactive strategy to provide maximum protection for society”. G42, the Abu Dhabi-based artificial intelligence that leads the domestic production of Sinopharm under the tag Hayat Vax, has confirmed that it is “testing if a third shot can help to protect against the new mutations that we see around us.”


Pfizer-BioNTech booster vaccine after having Sinopharm

The United Arab Emirates Health Ministry have made the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine available as a booster shot to those initially immunised with two shots of Sinopharm. Those who have received two doses of the Sinopharm vaccine can voluntarily take the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at the Mubadala Health vaccination centre.

In Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital, a booster shot is available six months after the second shot had been administered, said a representative of Mubadala Health, part of the state fund. A different vaccine can be provided as a booster shot but it is at the recipient’s discretion and health professionals do not make recommendations, the representative said.