The Sikh temple in Dubai was inundated with requests from the public to be immunised in a three-day drive against Covid-19.
Guru Nanak Darbar in Jebel Ali hosted an event to vaccinate 4,500 adults of various nationalities and religions from Saturday to Monday.
Surender Singh Kandhari, the temple’s chairman, said all available spots for the Sinopharm shot were taken on Thursday within hours of the offer being shared on social media
The temple will seek permission to host a second three-day event from Tamouh Health Care, one of the government's approved vaccine partners, to accommodate everyone who applied to join.
People of 35 nationalities will be vaccinated as part of the drive, Mr Kandhari said.
“We kept it open to anyone, any age and any nationality. We are all one. We are all human beings. We have to respect each other and humanity,” he said.
“We announced it on Thursday morning, and by Thursday evening we already had 6,000 people applying to get the vaccine registration done.
“It’s not available everywhere and people are having great difficulty, so they are very blessed to come to the temple and get a vaccine done.”
Everyone who is vaccinated as part of the event was asked to return in 31 days to receive their second dose, he said.
Three vaccines are now authorised for widespread use in Dubai – the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, the US-German Pfizer-BioNTech jab and China’s Sinopharm shot.
The emirate’s health authority has scaled back use of the Pfizer-BioNTech shots because of local and global shortages.
AstraZeneca’s vaccine is currently available only to Emiratis and over-60s, frontline workers and people with disabilities.
The UAE has one of the highest inoculation rates in the world.
On Friday, it was announced 158,786 shots were given in the past 24 hours, taking the total administered in the country to four million doses. That equates to 40.53 doses per 100 people.