Coronavirus: recovered patients and breastfeeding mothers are now eligible for Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in Dubai

Dubai Health Authority says those planning to conceive can also receive the vaccine

Covid-19 patients who displayed mild symptoms and made a full recovery can receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine after finishing their isolation period, Dubai Health Authority said on Saturday.

Breastfeeding women and those planning to conceive can also receive the vaccine, DHA said.

As part of an expanded criteria announced for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, patients who have recovered do not need to wait for three months.

They can take the vaccine on completion of their post-recovery isolation period, provided the infection was mild or asymptomatic.

Clinical studies show that the mRNA vaccine is safe for women who are breastfeeding or planning to conceive

Dr Muna Tahlak

Dr Farida Al Khaja, chief executive of DHA’s Clinical Support Services and Nursing Sector and chairwoman of the Covid-19 Vaccination Steering Committee, said the decision to expand the eligibility criteria is in line with international guidelines.

“Any patient who had an active infection must wait until the completion of the isolation period to be vaccinated.

“If the infection was moderate or severe and required hospitalisation, the timeframe for vaccination after infection will depend on the decision of the medical team that treated the patient,” Ms Al Khaja said.

“However, all mild cases or cases without symptoms can take the vaccine after completing the isolation period.”

Recently, DHA also reduced the minimum age for some of the available vaccines from 18 to 16 years.

“Clinical studies show that the mRNA vaccine is safe for women who are breastfeeding or planning to conceive unless the patient has certain medical contraindications to vaccines or any vaccine component,” said Dr Muna Tahlak, chief executive of Latifa Hospital for Women and Children.

“Mothers who are breastfeeding can now take an mRNA vaccine as per the latest DHA vaccine guidelines. There is no need to stop breastfeeding before or after vaccination.”

It is important to understand that Covid-19 vaccines are able to create an immune response without causing the illness and that they do not contain a live virus, said Dr Tahlak.

While many vaccines introduce a weakened or inactivated germ to trigger an immune response – producing antibodies, mRNA vaccines teach the body’s cells to make a protein that triggers the immune response.

Dr Al Khaja said DHA has 11 dedicated vaccination centres in Dubai and two mobile clinics for providing home vaccination for the elderly and those with chronic diseases.

During Ramadan, the centres offer vaccination from 9am to 4pm and from 9pm to midnight Sunday to Thursday.

On Friday and Saturday, the centres will provide vaccinations from 9pm to midnight only.

The centres will only be open from 9am to 4pm during the last 10 days of the holy month. The vaccination centres will be closed on May 7 and May 8.

“As part of ensuring community members have convenient access to vaccination, we are providing safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines in locations across Dubai,” Dr Al Khaja said.

“We are also providing a mobile vaccination option for the elderly and those with chronic diseases.

“Our aim is to vaccinate 100 per cent of the eligible adult population in Dubai by the end of 2021.

“The latest expansion in eligibility criteria follows a study conducted by the scientific committee on the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine for these groups.”

How to book an appointment for a Covid-19 vaccine?

People must generate a Medical Record Number on the DHA app to book an appointment for vaccination.

Those who do not have a MRN can get one by:

1. Visiting the DHA website – www.dha.gov.ae

2. Following the direct link – bit.ly/MRN_E

Individuals should enter their Emirates ID number and they will receive a one-time password on their registered mobile number. On confirmation, their MRN number will appear on the website.

If the OTP is forwarded to a different mobile number, users can get it corrected by calling Identity and Citizenship – UAE on 600 522 222

Step 2:

After getting the MRN number, people are advised to book an appointment for vaccination through the DHA’s toll-free number 800 342 or by downloading the DHA application.

Updated: April 17, 2021 09:58 PM

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