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Dubai rolls out Pfizer vaccine free

Citizens and seniors to receive the first inoculations

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Dubai has started inoculating people for free with the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech.

The move comes after the UAE earlier in December 2020 rolled out a vaccine by China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) to the general public.

The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention registered the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for emergency use on the request of Pfizer.

The UAE was the first country outside China to roll out the Chinese vaccine to the public, saying it had 86% efficacy, citing an interim analysis of late-stage clinical trials.

China has included two candidate vaccines from Sinopharm and one from Sinovac Biotech Ltd. in an emergency-use programme launched in July, targeting specific high-infection risk groups such as medical workers and border inspectors.

Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management said on Twitter an “extensive vaccination campaign” against COVID-19 would kick off using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

A message on Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA) hotline said the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccine would be for citizens and Dubai residents 60 years and above, and for individuals with chronic illness over the age of 18.

The second category would comprise front-line staff in public and private sectors, third would be vital-sector workers, and finally, the general public.