A vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) on Saturday announced it is working to reschedule the appointments of the first dose of the Pfizer - BioNTech vaccine. This is due to the manufacturer undertaking expansion of its vaccine production, which has affected current doses in a number of countries of the world.

In a statement published on Saturday night, the DHA stated that it will soon inform customers via SMS about the new appointments.

However, all booked appointments for the second dose remain unchanged, the DHA added, urging the public to adhere to their appointments and visit service centers at the time specified in advance.

Dubai launched a free vaccination campaign in December following the UAE’s approval for the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE. During trials, the vaccine was found to be around 95 per cent effective in preventing COVID-19.

The full Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine dose is 30 micrograms (a microgram is a millionth of a gram). It will technically require only several months to produce two doses for the 7.8 billion people in the world. But it’s not that simple.

Pfizer’s chief executive, Albert Bourla, said that it could have 30 to 40 million doses of the vaccine before the end of 2020, which would be enough for 15 to 20 million people. Pfizer and BioNTech say they could ramp up to 1.3 billion doses a year.