Covid-19: Dubai expands eligibility criteria for vaccine
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Covid-19: Dubai expands eligibility criteria for vaccine

Covid-19: Dubai expands eligibility criteria for vaccine

Recovered Covid-19 patients need not wait three months to receive jab

Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine Dubai

In a move to expand the eligibility criteria for Covid-19 vaccinations, those who have previously had the Covid-19 infection no longer need to wait for three months to receive the jab, Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has announced.

Recovered patients can receive the shot on completion of their isolation, provided the infection was mild or non-symptomatic.

“Any patient who had an active Covid-19 infection must wait until the completion of the isolation period to be vaccinated,” said Dr. Farida Al Khaja, CEO of DHA’s Clinical Support Services and Nursing Sector and chairperson of the Covid-19 Vaccination Steering Committee.

“If the infection was moderate or severe and required hospitalisation, the timeframe for vaccination after infection will depend on the decision of the medical team that treated the patient. However, all mild cases or cases without symptoms can take the vaccine after completing the isolation period.”

Additionally, women who are breastfeeding as well as those who are planning to conceive can take the mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech). This extension is in line with international studies and guidelines, official news agency WAM reported.

Dr. Muna Tahlak, CEO of Latifa Hospital for Women and Children, said: “Clinical studies show that the mRNA vaccine is safe for women who are breastfeeding or planning to conceive, unless the patient has certain medical contraindications to vaccines or any vaccine component. Mothers who are breastfeeding can now take an mRNA vaccine as per the latest DHA vaccine guidelines. There is no need to stop breastfeeding before or after vaccination.”

DHA also recently reduced the minimum age for some of the available vaccines to 16 years instead of 18.

Dr. Tahhlak added that the vaccines are able to create an immune response without causing the illness and that they do not contain a live virus.

DHA has 11 dedicated vaccination centres across Dubai and two mobile clinics for providing home-vaccinations for the elderly and those with chronic diseases.

During Ramadan, the centres provide vaccination from 9am to 4pm and from 9pm to midnight Sunday to Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, the centres will administer vaccines from 9pm to midnight only.

The centres will only be open during the morning slot from 9am to 4pm during the last ten days of the holy month. Meanwhile, the vaccination centres will be closed on May 7-8.

“Our aim is to vaccinate 100 per cent of the eligible adult population in Dubai by the end of 2021. The latest expansion in eligibility criteria follows a study conducted by the scientific committee on the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine for these groups,” Dr Al Khaja said.

The UAE reported 1,958 Covid-19 cases on April 17, raising the total case count to 495,224. Meanwhile, the death toll stands at 1,550.

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