Free Covid vaccine in UAE: All your questions answered

Abu Dhabi - Are the vaccines effective against the new Covid strain?

(File photo)
(File photo)

Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Wed 6 Jan 2021, 7:06 PM

Last updated: Wed 6 Jan 2021, 7:12 PM

A massive Covid-19 vaccination campaign is underway across the seven emirates of the UAE. Residents are vaccinated against the disease for free.

In the UAE, two types of vaccines are available: Sinopharm and BioNTech-Pfizer.

>> Full list of centres to get the jab

Dr Laila Al Jasmi, Head of Immunisation Section at the Ministry of Health and Prevention, on Wednesday provided the most important information related to Covid-19 vaccines during briefing.

Here are the key questions answered:

Where can people go for the Covid-19 vaccination in UAE?

The Covid-19 vaccine is provided in public hospitals under the Ministry of Health and Prevention and some private healthcare facilities across the Emirates. Our aim is to focus on vaccination for the largest possible percentage of the society.

Who can get the Covid-19 vaccine in the UAE?

The Covid-19 vaccine is free of charge for all UAE nationals and residents aged 18 and above.

Is it necessary to conduct a Covid-19 test after getting vaccinated?

In general, a Covid-19 test is not required after administering the vaccine. But if there are some specific cases or some investigations that health authorities or other entities need to find out, then a vaccinated person can be told to undergo the Covid-19 test.

Is the vaccine effective against the new Covid-19 strain which has emerged recently?

No information is available currently; but this will be determined after the ongoing study which may take a month.

Are there some major side effects after receiving the vaccine?

No. But like any other medicines or vaccines, there are some typical side effects like swelling or pain at the area of injection, tiredness and fever or headache. This can be experienced immediately after receiving the vaccine or after a few days have passed and it won’t last for long.

Do people who have been infected with the coronavirus and recovered still need to receive the vaccine or their bodies are immune and have protection against the virus?

Yes. Due to the severe health risks associated with Covid-19 and the fact that re-infection with coronavirus is possible, it is important that all people get the vaccine regardless of whether they already had Covid-19 infection.

The vaccine is not yet recommended for children. Are there any other categories of residents who can't take the vaccine?

For now, the vaccine’s efficacy and safety has been evaluated for people aged 18 and above. Children and adolescents are not getting vaccinated. Some other groups who may also need to take into account additional considerations when deciding whether to get the Covid-19 vaccine are: pregnant women, people with allergies and those who have underlying medical conditions.

The Covid-19 vaccine is administered in two doses. What is the period between dose one and dose two?

The number of doses for the vaccine is two, with 21 to 28 days between the first and the second dose.

Is a Covid-19 test required between the two doses?


What are the different types of vaccines being administered in the UAE? And what is the difference between these vaccines?

The vaccination being administered in the UAE is the China-developed Sinopharm and Pfitzer-BioNTech. The difference is that they are being manufactured by different firms, but they look very similar, both in terms of safety and in terms of effectiveness.

How can people register to get the Covid-19 vaccine at the centres?

No prior registration or appointment is required when you want to get vaccinated. All you need to do is visit the hospitals or private health facilities with vaccination centres and get registered by officials there and then get the vaccine.

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