The United Arab Emirates said on May 18 that it will offer an additional dose of the Chinese-developed Sinopharm vaccine to people who have already received two shots of the vaccine more than six months ago. Priority will be given to the elderly and those with chronic illnesses.
Bahrain also said it would offer a third dose of the Sinopharm vaccine to groups including seniors and those with underlying health conditions.
The UAE’s booster shot program is among the first in the world. Almost 11.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to the public since December.
The Sinopharm vaccine was authorised for general public use on December 9, so many who received their two doses will be eligible for the extra dose from June end.
Walid Zaher, chief research officer of G42 Healthcare, said the third dose was adminstered in March to those whose immune systems were found to have not responded to the vaccine.
Dr Zaher said some people did not create enough antibodies to protect themselves against Covid-19 – a phenomenon that “is expected with all vaccines”.
Dubai had announced on May 17 that it would permit live entertainment and activities in restaurants, cafes and shopping malls for a trial period of one month, which may be extended. Music concerts, community sports events, spectator events and social and institutional events will also be allowed on the condition that all audience members, participants and staff have been vaccinated.
On May 19, MoHAP noted that an additional 1,316 individuals had fully recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries so farto 530,085. There were 1,348 and two deaths reported.