Coronavirus: Dubai temporarily postpones Pfizer vaccine campaign amid global shortage

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Dubai has postponed its Pfizer-BioNtech vaccination campaign for people scheduled to receive their first dose of the vaccine, amid a global supply shortage of the dose, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) announced on Saturday.

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“DHA is working on rescheduling the 1st dose of the COVID-19 Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine. Kindly note that the manufacturer has announced the expansion of the vaccine production capacity, which has temporarily affected several countries globally,” the authority said on its official Twitter page.

Last week, the US pharmaceutical company had announced that it was delaying shipments in the upcoming weeks as it works to increase capacity at its Belgian processing plant.

Campaigns in Saudi Arabia, Italy, and a number of other countries were also postponed.

However, appointments for those expected to receive second doses of the Pfizer vaccine have not been affected by the supply shortage, the DHA added.

“Kindly note that all appointments for the 2nd dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine remain unaffected. Customers who have completed their 1st dose and now need to take their 2nd dose are advised to adhere to their appointment schedule and to kindly reach the centre on time.”

The Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine and the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine are the only two vaccines currently available in the United Arab Emirates.

People sit as they wait their turn for vaccine trials in Abu Dhabi, UAE. (File photo: Reuters)
People sit as they wait their turn for vaccine trials in Abu Dhabi, UAE. (File photo: Reuters)

Officials have urged residents and citizens to take the vaccine as the country battles with a rising number of infections.

More than two million people are vaccinated against the coronavirus in the country, according to the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA).

The UAE plans to vaccinate 50 percent of its population by the end of March, authorities have said.

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