UAE's Covid-19 Sinopharm booster shots after 6 months: How they work

Dubai - The additional dose helps boost immunity and produce antibodies to ward off the virus.



By Sahim Salim

Published: Wed 19 May 2021, 1:25 PM

Last updated: Wed 19 May 2021, 1:27 PM

Booster shots of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine are now available for residents six months after they receive their second dose.

The UAE will prioritise senior citizens and residents with chronic diseases for the shot. The additional dose helps boost immunity and produce antibodies to ward off the virus.

Dr Ramesh, internal medicine (specialist), Aster Hospital, Qusais, explained how booster shots work. “The antibody response to the booster dose is characterised by a shorter lag period as the body is previously exposed (to the vaccine).”

The response is prompt and produces significant levels of antibodies that may last for longer periods.

The doctors explained that the accelerated response is achieved thanks to “immunological memory”. This is the ability of the body’s immune system to quickly recognise an antigen that it has previously encountered and initiate an immune response.

“That's the reason inactivated vaccines like Sinopharm are given as booster doses,” he explained.

The UAE is second globally when it comes to administration of Covid vaccines. With 11.59 million vaccine doses administered as on May 18, the UAE has a distribution rate of 117.23 per 100 residents.

This rate is only second to Israel – which has administered 121.66 doses per 100 people.

As the number of people protected against the virus increases, the country’s daily Covid cases have dipped significantly.

This week, the country reported record low number of daily infections for four days straight, sparking hopes of herd immunity.

“This improvement is a result of very clear and strict strategies implemented by the UAE government and impact of the vaccination drive. The UAE has vaccinated more than 70 per cent of the eligible population. Herd immunity comes after 50 per cent of the population receives the vaccine, which is another factor in reducing the new daily cases of Covid 19,”said Dr Srinivasa Rao Polumuru, specialist in internal medicine, NMC Speciality Hospital, Al Nahda, Dubai, had said.

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

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