Updated 1 February 2021
COVID-19 vaccination campaign has commenced in Dubai and other emirates across the UAE, following the approval of the Sinopharm and Pfizer vaccines. As those who are eligible for the jab amass at their nearest vaccination centers, many are hoping that the inoculation would spell the beginning of the end of the pandemic.
Argentina became the third country to approve Russia’s Sputnik COVID-19 vaccine following Russia and Belarus in December 2020. The health ministry of Argentina stated that the Sputnik vaccine presented ‘an acceptable benefit-risk balance.’ A Russian spokesperson has stated that there had been demands from other Latin American countries for the Sputnik vaccine.
After the results of its effectiveness, and in triggering a strong antibody response against #Covid19 virus, #UAE approves Russia’s Sputnik vaccine for emergency use.#TogetherWeRecover pic.twitter.com/Ni1bN8MrvM— NCEMA UAE (@NCEMAUAE) January 21, 2021
As for the UAE, the country has officially approved the Sputnik V vaccine for emergency use as part of its comprehensive and integrated efforts to increase prevention levels and to safeguard the health of all citizens and residents on 21 January.
Let us take a closer look at the Sputnik V vaccine: its efficacy, cost, side effects and how it works.
How does the Sputnik vaccine work?
The Sputnik V is an adenovirus-based vector vaccine administered in two doses 28 days apart.
Without getting too technical, a vector is an engineered virus without the ability to replicate or multiply. When the vector containing the coronavirus gene is injected into the human body, it triggers a surge of coronavirus spike proteins without actually infecting the body. The body’s immune system then gears into high alert, making it capable of developing an immunity to the virus.
The first dose of the Sputnik V vaccine utilizes adenovirus 26 as the vector for the coronavirus surface protein, while the second dose uses adenovirus 5.
While there are other adenovirus-based vaccines on the market today, Gamaleya, Sputnik V manufacturer, claims that theirs is the only vaccine utilizing the two-vector vaccination system.
How effective is the Sputnik V vaccine?
Manufacturers of the Sputnik V vaccine has released a statement detailing an impressive 95 percent efficacy rate.
Calculations were based on the analysis of data on volunteers who received both the first and second doses of the Sputnik V vaccine or placebo at the second control point in accordance with the clinical trial protocol.
Preliminary data from volunteers obtained 42 days after the first dose (corresponds with 21 days after the second dose) indicates the Sputnik V’s efficacy is above 95 percent.
Are there any known side effects?
According to an official press release, as of 14 December 2020, more than 26,000 volunteers were vaccinated at 29 medical centers in Russia as part of the ongoing clinical trials. Currently, Phase III clinical trials are approved and are ongoing in Belarus, the UAE, Venezuela and other countries, as well as Phase II-III in India.
No unexpected adverse events were identified as part of the research. Some of those vaccinated had short-term minor adverse events such as pain at the injection point and flu-like symptoms including fever, weakness, fatigue, and headache.
Where can I get the vaccine in UAE?
Following the approval of the Sputnik V by the authorities, the vaccine has been rolled out in authorized vaccination centers across the UAE for Emiratis aged 60 and above.
The Sinopharm vaccine will be available at Nadd Al Hamar Health Centre, Al Twar Health Centre and Al Mankhool Health Centre. Vaccination is currently available to those who already have pre-registered appointments. pic.twitter.com/lq7euzlPhD— هيئة الصحة بدبي (@DHA_Dubai) January 30, 2021
Nadd Al Hamar Health Center Google location
Al Twar Health Center Google location
Al Mankhool Health Center Google location
For vaccination centers in the rest of the Emirates, please do refer to our UAE vaccination center locations article.
How much is the price of the Sputnik V vaccine?
The cost of a single dose of the Sputnik V vaccine is less than USD 10 for international markets according to a press release.
Although elsewhere on the official website, manufacturers of the vaccine have stated that the price for individual countries will be defined by factors such as production costs and logistics. They have also emphasized that the price will be competitive as “making huge profits on the vaccine is not our intention.”
For residents of the UAE, it is important to note that the current vaccination program has been free of charge so far.