20201211 Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine
Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: Dubai Health Authority (DHA) announced on May 31 that those who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine can book appointments for a jab through a Whatsapp service.

If you are looking to book an appointment, here are the steps you need to follow.

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Step 1: Add ‘800 342’ to your contacts list

First, you would need to add DHA’s Whatsapp number as a contact on your phone. This step is necessary to initiate a Whatsapp chat.

Step 2: Send a message

You can then open Whatsapp on your phone and initiate a chat with the DHA number. Send the message ‘Hi’ or ‘Hello’ and a virtual assistant will take you through the steps to book an appointment.

Step 3: Select the option to book an appointment

The virtual assistant will offer you a list of services that it is programmed to offer. To book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, select option 3. For this, you would simply need to type ‘3’ and send the message.

Step 4: Confirm your selection

You will then be provided with detailed information on who is eligible to receive the vaccine as well as a disclaimer on how the data that is transmitted during the discussion maybe stored on Whatsapp servers outside the UAE. If you agree to the disclaimer, type ‘1’ and tap on send.

Step 5: Link MRN number

If you do not have an existing Medical Record Number (MRN) connected with the mobile number on which you are using Whatsapp, you will be directed to the DHA website. The web page will allow you to link your MRN number to your Whatsapp number.

On this page, enter your Emirates ID number and then confirm the one-time password sent to the mobile number registered with the Emirates ID.

In case you face issues with the mobile number connected with your Emirates ID, you would need to contact the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA). You can read our guide on how to update the mobile number connected with your Emirates ID here.

Step 6: Confirm your MRN number

One you have successfully linked your MRN number to your mobile phone number, you will be redirected to the Whatsapp chat.

Type ‘mrnlinked’ and send the message.

You will then be asked to confirm the MRN number under which you would like to book the COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

Step 7: Confirm location and time of appointment

Next, select the DHA vaccination centre where you would like to receive the vaccine. The type of vaccine being offered will also be mentioned, immediately after the centre’s name. Type the number corresponding with the centre of your choice.

Similarly, select the date and time that is suitable for you to get the vaccine appointment.

Once you have filled in all the details, you will receive a confirmation message with all of your appointment details.