| 25 February 2024, Sunday |

UAE, Bahrain make Pfizer/BioNTech jab available to those who got Sinopharm vaccine

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain have made the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine available as a booster dose to those initially immunized with a vaccine developed by the China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm).

The Gulf states, which have inoculated large portions of their populations, initially began vaccinating residents and citizens with the Sinopharm coronavirus jab before later introducing other vaccines.

Bahrain is currently fighting its biggest wave of infections, while the UAE is recording nearly twice as many coronavirus infections as it was 7 months ago.

In Abu Dhabi, a booster shot is available 3 months after the second dose had been administered, said a representative of Mubadala Health, part of the state fund.

The representative noted that a different vaccine can be provided as a booster shot but it is at the recipient’s discretion and health professionals do not make recommendations.

Abu Dhabi has offered the Sinopharm jab to the general public since December and started using the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in April. It has been offering third Sinopharm shots since at least last month after it was discovered the dose had not created enough antibodies for some recipients.

In Bahrain, a government representative similarly said those eligible could receive a booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Sinopharm vaccines regardless of which vaccine they had initially taken.

The UAE is currently reporting nearly 2,000 infections a day, down from a February peak of 3,977 but about twice as many as it was reporting in early December. Bahrain saw daily cases peak last month at nearly 3,000.

  • Reuters