UAE official explains: How effective are Covid vaccines against Omicron variant?

Booster doses are helping protect people against the more contagious variant



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A Staff Reporter

Published: Thu 6 Jan 2022, 10:59 AM

Last updated: Thu 6 Jan 2022, 9:09 PM

The highly infectious Covid-19 variant, Omicron, has resulted in new safety restrictions, semi-lockdowns and quarantine requirements around the world.

The UAE reported its first case of the Omicron variant on December 1 last year.

A top UAE official explained on Thursday that initial studies suggest the current vaccines are less effective against the Omicron variant, compared to previous strains like Delta. However, booster doses are helping protect people against it, according to Dr Farida Al Hosani, a government spokesperson.

“These studies also show that people who received the booster shot have a greater prevention rate than those who didn’t,” she is heard saying in a video posted by the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre. “We recommend that you get the vaccines and the booster dose on time.”

According to a guide issued by the Ministry of Health and Prevention, Sinopharm vaccine booster shots are available three months after the second dose to vulnerable categories of residents. These include people with chronic diseases and those aged over 50. All other residents aged over 16 can get their Sinopharm booster shot six months after the second dose.

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Those inoculated with two doses of the Pfizer-Biontech vaccine and aged over 18 can get a booster dose of the same brand six months after the second dose.

“Those who took other types of Covid-19 vaccines should head to the nearest vaccination centre to learn the type of booster they are required to take,” Dr Noura Al Ghaithi, another government spokesperson, had said yesterday.


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