Pfizer and Sputnik booster shots authorised for over-60s in UAE

Booster shots will be given six months after the second dose

The UAE has authorised emergency use of booster shots of Pfizer-BioNTech and Sputnik vaccines for some groups.

Booster shots are to be given six months after the second dose.

The announcement came during the weekly Covid-19 briefing on Tuesday.

The groups that should take a booster shot are senior citizens and residents aged over 60; people with chronic diseases, or at risk of complications (aged 50-59); and people receiving long-term health care (aged 18 years and over).

The announcement does not apply to those who have received Pfizer-BioNTech or Sputnik booster doses after being fully vaccinated with Sinopharm.

The briefing heard that the decision came after studies showed the benefits of a booster six months after the second dose.

"We recommend individuals who are eligible for the booster shot be sure to take this dose on time, to protect their health and ensure safety from Covid-19 by boosting their immunity," the briefing heard.

More details are expected in the coming months.

It was previously announced in August that residents of Abu Dhabi who received their second shot of Sinopharm’s Covid-19 vaccine more than six months ago must have a booster dose by September 20.

This is necessary to keep the green status active on the Al Hosn smartphone app, which allows access to many public places in the emirate.

Authorities have previously underlined the benefits of taking a booster shot.

In July, UAE health authorities urged people to get a booster shot after they have received two doses of a coronavirus vaccine.

Dr Farida Al Hosani, health spokeswoman for the federal government, said all eligible people should take the shot after consulting a doctor.

Meanwhile, cases continue to fall in the UAE as mass testing and one of the world's fastest vaccination drives have helped the country curb the pandemic.

The UAE recorded 176 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing its tally to 737,073.

The latest number of infections represents the lowest daily figure since August 3 last year.

At least 44,793 Covid-19 vaccine doses were given in the last 24 hours. More than 20.27 million doses have now been administered with 94.78 per cent of the population having received one dose and 84.39 per cent fully vaccinated.

Rules and restrictions have been lifted and the UAE is cautiously returning to normal.

"The phased removal of restrictions we’re witnessing requires us to share social responsibility to ensure public safety, contain the pandemic and move towards a brighter future," the briefing heard.

Updated: November 1st 2021, 3:51 AM