Coronavirus: Dubai reschedules Pfizer/BioNTech shots amid global shortage

Emirate’s health authorities say appointments for second dose are unaffected

Dubai Health Authority is rescheduling appointments for the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot amid a global supply crunch.

On Saturday the authority said it would provide a new appointment for those booked in for their first vaccine.

Those who already received their first shot and had an appointment for the second were not affected, it said.

“The DHA will communicate the new appointment for the first dose of the vaccine to customers via SMS at the earliest,” the authority said.

Countries across the world are facing shortages because of a cut in deliveries of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Germany and parts of Italy have suspended administering first shots of the vaccine despite a resurgence of the virus.

Pfizer-BioNTech said it had to delay shipments for the next few weeks because of work to increase capacity at its Belgian processing plant.

This was acknowledged by the authority in its alert.

Pfizer-BioNTech is not the only manufacturer to be hit by delays. AstraZeneca said production problems meant quantity of its vaccine, made in partnership with Oxford University, would initially be lower than expected.

Two vaccines are currently available in the UAE – those of Pfizer-BioNTech and Chinese company Sinopharm.

Authorities in the UAE aim to reach 50 per cent of the population by the end of March.