Stock vaccine Dubai UAE
File image: Vaccination centre set up at the Dubai International Financial Center DIFC, Dubai Image Credit: AFP

ABU DHABI: The Ministry of Health and Prevention has urged all Emiratis and residents eligible for COVID-19 vaccination to start booking appointments for inoculation starting Sunday, March 21, now that the six-week priority entitlement given to people who are most at risk of infection is over.

Those eligible for vaccination, including citizens and residents aged 16 and above, can now get inoculated for free in any of the 205 vaccination locations available nationwide, the ministry said in a statement late on Saturday.

Prior booking

The statement said it's incumbent on those opting for vaccination to get prior booking as those who are most vulnerable to infection will continue to be received by vaccination centres without prior booking.

The past six weeks saw a collaborative effort made by all health departments to prioritise those most at risk of infection, including the elderly and people with chronic diseases, such as heart, diabetes, and respiratory illnesses.

In the meantime, Dr. Abdul Rahman bin Mohammad bin Nasser Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, said Saturday that 72.89 percent of elderly Emiratis and residents and those with chronic diseases have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and that 56.59 percent of the eligible population have been inoculated against the disease.

In line with the Ministry's plans as well as the objectives of the National COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign, to ensure acquired community immunity, the Ministry has urged all the eligible population to get vaccinated and to encourage their family members, friends and colleagues to follow suit for their common good.

The UAE has approved four COVID-19 vaccines for emergency uses: Sinopharm; Pfizer-BioNTech; Sputnik V; and Oxford-AstraZeneca. In addition, MoHAP is constantly 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 net rate of 72.61 doses per 100 people.