Dubai residents can now book their Covid-19 vaccine appointment via WhatsApp.
"Through the use of AI technology and this additional channel to book an appointment for the Covid-19 vaccine, we aim to provide community members with the utmost convenience," said Fatma Al Khajah, director of the Customer Happiness Department at Dubai Health Authority (DHA).
But how does it work?
How to book a vaccine on WhatsApp
First, save the number 800 342 to your contacts. Then send a WhatsApp message to the number saying “Hi”.
You can then select your preferred language and option three to book a vaccine.
You will be asked to accept a disclaimer, before linking your medical record number (MRN) to your WhatsApp account.
The system will ask you for a verification code that will be sent to your phone. Reply “mrnlinked” once done.
You will then be asked to confirm the MRN or add another.
After that, you will be asked to select your nearest vaccination centre offering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Users then submit their MRN, confirm the vaccination centre and choose their preferred date and time.
You will receive a confirmation message with your appointment details.
Is the booking service limited to certain hours?
No, the service is 24-hours.
It is part of the DHA's hotline, which was rolled out last year to answer pressing concerns about the coronavirus.
Since then it has received more than 150,000 Covid-19 queries.
More than two billion people use WhatsApp globally and over three billion messages have been sent to Covid-19 helplines in the past year.