Dubai Health Authority expands eligibility criteria for COVID-19 vaccinations

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Dubai Health Authority (DHA) is offering COVID-19 vaccinations to a wider range of people, with Dubai resident visa holders above the age of 40 and Emiratis older than 16 eligible from Tuesday, according to state news agency WAM.

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People over the age of 60 with resident visas from any of the seven emirates can also now apply for vaccinations at DHA centers if they live in Dubai.

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nationals with a valid Emirates ID can also receive the inoculation at DHA centers.

The age limits of various vaccines have also been expanded. People over the age of 16, lowered from 18, can now receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and the AstraZeneca vaccine can be administered to anyone over 18, whereas it was previously limited to people between the ages of 18 and 65.

The announcement was made shortly after the UAE’s National Crisis and Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA) said it had succeeded in vaccinating 46.6 percent of the country’s population.

The UAE’s vaccination program is now second only to Israel’s in terms of number of doses administered compared to population.

The ongoing expansion of the vaccination campaign is based on a strategic plan developed by DHA late last year, which aimed to inoculate 50 percent of the country by March 2021 and 70 percent by December, said Dr. Farida Al Khaja, chief executive of DHA’s Clinical Support Services and Nursing Sector and chair of the COVID-19 Vaccination Steering Committee.

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