The new digital and social media to discover Arabia and the Middle East. Offbeat. Innovative.

Abu Dhabi starts mass vaccination against COVID-19

The UAE's capital Abu Dhabi began on Monday to vaccinate its population against COVID-19, according to the local health authority relayed by AFP, five days after the UAE approved the vaccine from Chinese pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm.

The state is one of the very first in the world to begin vaccination against the new coronavirus on a large scale, after the United Kingdom on December 9 and the United States on Monday, favouring the vaccine developed by Germany’s BioNTech and the American Pfizer.

A vaccine approved in Bahrain, not in Saudi Arabia

In order to facilitate the vaccination process, the Aboudabian health authorities (SEHA) have set up a hotline enabling residents to make an appointment for an inoculation. In addition, at least 45 hospitals and clinics in the emirate have been supplied with Sinopharm vaccines. The Sinopharm vaccine, validated by the health authorities in Abu Dhabi, has also been validated elsewhere in the Gulf, notably in Bahrain, which has also approved Pfizer-BioNTech’s product. Saudi Arabia, for its part, has only validated the German-American vaccine.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the United Arab Emirates have officially recorded more than 186,000 cases of contamination leading to 618 deaths. After a series of restrictive measures, including containment and curfews, life gradually resumed in the country.