authorities announced a FREE Covid-19 vaccination drive across the emirate with the Pfizer-BioNTech and Sinopharm vaccines, starts last December 23rd, 2020.

According to the Dubai Media Office, Dubai received its first batch of the Pfizer Coronavirus vaccine from Brussels on Tuesday night. The UAE Fatwa Council officially legalised the use of Covid-19 vaccines under the Islamic Sharia with the objective to “protect the human soul”.Dubai residents and citizens who are eligible for the vaccine are encouraged to participate to ensure the success of the vaccination campaign and to help reduce the spread of the virus. To check your eligibility, read on…

What is the Covid-19 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine?

The Pfizer vaccine was developed by US pharmaceutical company Pfizer and the German company BioNTech.

How effective is it?

The vaccine has an effectiveness rate of 95%, which is a very healthy number. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said it would be happy with a vaccine that has an effectiveness of 50%.

Once the first dose is administered, your protective immunity against Covid-19 is expected to build up within four weeks.

Which ingredients are present?

The active ingredient in the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is messenger RNA which is synthetic and not extracted from actual viruses.

Are there any side effects?

Common side effects of the Pfizer vaccine can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Pain in the injected spot

What is the Covid-19 Sinopharm vaccine?

another Covid vaccine you can get for free in Dubai is the Sinopharm vaccine, offered free of charge by the Abu Dhabi emirate and the UAE federal clinics.

How effective is it?

The Sinopharm vaccine has a reported efficacy of 80%, which is also a very healthy number.

How is it different from the Pfizer vaccine?

The Sinopharm vaccine is based on standard vaccine science and stored in a regular refrigerator. However, the Pfizer vaccine is based on new technology and must be kept at minus 70 degrees celsius to be effective.

Thus, for the Pfizer vaccine to be effective at all it needs to have been stored at minus 70 degrees celsious throughout the production and supply chain process, making it a potential disadvantage.

The Pfizer vaccine is also targeted for select groups ONLY, whereas the Sinopharm vaccine is available for residents for free on a first come first served basis at UAE federal clinics.

If you’re interested in the Pfizer vaccine but do not fall under its proritized groups, you may have to wait a while.

Who can’t receive a Sinopharm vaccine?

The following categories of people cannot receive the Sinopharm shot:

  • Those who previously took the Pfizer vaccine
  • Pregnant women
  • Breast-feeding women
  • Women trying to conceive
  • People with existing allergies to any other vaccine, food, substance, medication or those that carry adrenaline auto injectors

Who can get the free Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine in Dubai?

In this current phase, the free Pfizer vaccine in Dubai is prioritised for select groups only. According to Khaleej Times, the following can receive the Pfizer vaccine without cost:

  • Elders who are 60-years-old and above.
  • People with chronic diseases.
  • People of determination.
  • Frontliners in both the public and private sectors.
  • Vital-sector workers.

However, to confirm your eligibility, we suggest calling the DHA hotline at 800342. Upon calling the hotline number, you will be asked a series of questions to help them determine your eligibility for the Covid-19 vaccine prior to your appointment booking.

Who can’t receive a Pfizer vaccine?

While DHA said that the Pfizer vaccine will be available for all others in the future, the following categories of people cannot receive the jab:

  • Those who previously took the Sinopharm vaccine
  • Kids under 18 years old
  • Pregnant women
  • Breast-feeding women
  • Women trying to conceive
  • Those with compromised immunity
  • People with existing allergies to any other vaccine, food, substance, medication or those that carry adrenaline auto injectors

How to book your Coronavirus vaccine appointment

For the Sinopharm vaccine

If you wish to get the Sinopharm vaccine, you don’t need to book an appointment. It’s available for FREE on a first come, first serve basis at UAE federal clinics.

Where is the Sinopharm vaccine available in Dubai?The Sinopharm is available in Dubai at three UAE federal clinics so far, with service running from 8 am to 10 pm:

  • Al Ittihad Health Center
  • Hor Al Anz Health Center
  • Al Qusais Health Center

We recommend getting there as early as 7 am due to long queues. You will need to return three weeks later for your second jab.

For the Pfizer vaccine

To book your appointment for the Pfizer vaccine in Dubai, you must take the following steps.

If you don’t have a Medical Record Number (MRN):

  • Email the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) at info@dha.gov.ae for your appointment
  • In the email, provide the DHA with a photocopy of a valid Emirates ID (front and back)
  • In the email, mention your mobile number

If you have a Medical Record Number (MRN):
You must first email DHA at info@dha.gov.ae to book an appointment, and provide them with your Medical Record Number (MRN).

Where is the Pfizer vaccine available in Dubai?

The vaccine will be available at seven health centers in Dubai:

  • Al Safa primary health care centre
  • Zabeel primary health care centre
  • Al Mizhar primary health care centre
  • Nad Al Hamr primary health care centre
  • Al Barsha primary health care centre
  • Uptown Miriff medical fitness centre
  • Hatta Hospital