UAE urges all citizens and residents to book appointments for Covid-19 vaccine

Inoculation campaign extended as six-week window for priority groups closes

epa08900982 A handout photo made available by the Dubai Government of Media Office shows a medical staff preparing a Vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 23 December 2020. The Gulf emirate of Dubai has started to give the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine to people on 23 December 2020.  EPA/DUBAI GOVERNMENT MEDIA OFFICE HANDOUT  HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

The UAE's Ministry of Health and Prevention has urged all Emiratis and eligible residents to book appointments to obtain the coronavirus vaccine.

Authorities say they are now expanding the country's vaccination programme, which prioritised at-risk groups for the past six weeks.

The expanded inoculation campaign will start from Sunday, March 21.

Eligible citizens and residents aged 16 and above can now be inoculated free of charge at any of the 205 vaccination locations nationwide, the health ministry said.

Officials urged those requesting a vaccine to book in advance. Vulnerable people without appointments will continue to receive priority at walk-in clinics.

The ministry said the past six weeks were a collaborative effort to prioritise those most at risk of infection, including the elderly and people with chronic diseases, such as heart, diabetes, and respiratory illnesses.

Dr Abdulrahman Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, said on Saturday that 72.89 per cent of elderly Emiratis and residents and those with chronic diseases had been vaccinated against Covid-19.

He said 56.59 per cent of the eligible population had been inoculated against the disease.

In line with the National Covid-19 Vaccination Campaign, the ministry has urged the eligible population to get vaccinated and to encourage their family members, friends and colleagues to do the same.

The UAE has approved four Covid vaccines for emergency use: Sinopharm; Pfizer-BioNTech; Sputnik V; and Oxford-AstraZeneca.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention earlier said it was working to get the entire UAE population vaccinated as soon as possible.

The UAE has to date administered 7,181,056 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine at a rate of 72.61 doses for every 100 people.

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