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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 January 2021

CORONAVIRUS

Sharjah private hospital offers free Covid-19 vaccinations

Zulekha Hospital uses Sinopharm to inoculate 1,925 people since it began a vaccination drive on January 3

A private hospital in Sharjah vaccinated more than 1,900 people after it joined the government’s Covid-19 inoculation drive.

Zulekha Hospital Sharjah's initiative began on January 3. Three hundred people received injections in the first three days. So far, 1,925 people have been vaccinated there.The hospital is offering the Sinopharm vaccine to residents with a valid Emirates ID. The inoculation is free.

“Covid-19 vaccination is the best and most successful medical intervention,” said Dr Pramod Chhabrani, the hospital’s specialist medical microbiology and infection control doctor.

I will definitely inform my family members and friends to go for vaccination

Philip Jacob

“It can help to protect you by creating an antibody response in your body without getting you sick with the virus.

"It also might help to protect people around you from Covid-19 infection by providing herd immunity.”

Developed by scientists at China’s state-owned pharmaceutical enterprise, the Sinopharm vaccine follows the tried-and-tested route of training the body’s immune system to detect and destroy viruses using injections of deactivated virus.

It is available across the country without charge at dozens of hospitals, vaccination centres, majlis and clinics.

Some clinics said they had waiting lists of weeks before new appointments could be made.

Dinah Argonza, 39, from the Philippines was one of the first to receive the Sinopharm vaccination at Zulekha Hospital in Sharjah. Courtesy: Zulekha Hospital 
Dinah Argonza, 39, from the Philippines was one of the first to receive the Sinopharm vaccination at Zulekha Hospital in Sharjah. Courtesy: Zulekha Hospital

Philip Jacob, 49, a worker in the pharmaceutical industry, was one of the first to receive the vaccine at Zulekha Hospital. He encouraged others to get vaccinated.

“I will definitely inform my family members and friends to go for vaccination at the earliest,” he said.

Dinah Argonza, 39, from the Philippines also received the shot.

“This pandemic has brought fear in each of us ... now the vaccine has come and it has lifted that anxiety,” she said.

An appointment to be vaccinated at Zulekha Hospital can be made through WhatsApp on 600524442.

The Covid-19 vaccination drive is the country's largest to date. The health authorities aim to inoculate half the population by the end of the first quarter.

More than a million doses have been administered since the national campaign began on December 13, four days after the UAE officially registered the Sinopharm vaccine for nationwide use. Phase 3 clinical trials had already been carried out and established 86 per cent efficacy against the coronavirus.

Two weeks later, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was approved for use in Dubai.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires two doses to be taken 21 days apart. The Sinopharm vaccine is administered 28 days apart.

Updated: January 13, 2021 12:17 PM

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