Dubai will start inoculating people with the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech for free from Wednesday, the 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 by China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) to the general public.
The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention registered the Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine for emergency use on the request of Pfizer, state news agency WAM reported, citing the ministry.
The UAE was the first country outside China to roll out the Chinese vaccine to the public, saying earlier this month it had 86% efficacy, citing an interim analysis of late-stage clinical trials.
China has included two candidate vaccines from Sinopharm and one from Sinovac Biotech Ltd in an emergency-use programme launched in July, targeting specific high-infection risk groups such as medical workers and border inspectors.