Dubai to roll out inoculations with Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from Wednesday

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FILE PHOTO: Small bottles labelled with "Vaccine" stickers stand near a medical syringe in front of displayed "Coronavirus COVID-19" words in this illustration taken April 10, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

Dubai will start inoculating people with the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech for free from Wednesday, the emirate’s government said, joining Saudi Arabia which last week became the first Arab country to begin using this vaccine.

The move comes after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain earlier this month rolled out a vaccine developed by China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) to the general public.

UAE was the first country to roll out the Chinese vaccines for its population, saying earlier this month saying it has 86% efficacy, citing an interim analysis of late-stage clinical trials.

Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management said in a statement on Twitter late on Tuesday an “extensive vaccination campaign” against COVID-19 kicks off in Dubai on Wednesday, using Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine and is free of charge.

Qatar has also granted emergency use authorisation for the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, while fellow Gulf Arab state Oman will receive its first Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shipment on Wednesday.

Kuwait has said it expects to start receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine before the end of the year.

UAE has recorded 195,878 coronavirus cases and 642 deaths so far from the virus.