What is the booster shot? Who is eligible for the Covid-19 booster vaccine? How do you book? We answer your questions in this expat guide
29 July 2021| Last updated on 1 August 2021
Have you already received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine in Dubai? Then you may be eligible for a third dose, or booster shot.
UAE health authorities have urged all eligible vaccinated residents and citizens to take a third shot to sustain protection against the virus.
Dr. Farida Al Hosani, health spokeswoman the UAE, added last month: "Boosters are needed. It is given after the two main doses to activate the body’s immunity."
This is your guide to who's eligible for the booster shot, and how you can book your third vaccine in Dubai.
What is the third booster dose?
Studies have found that the protection from the first and second Covid-19 vaccine is likely to weaken over time.
According to Dr. Nawal Al Kaabi, Chairwoman of the UAE National Covid-19 Clinical Management Committee, coronavirus immunity such as the protection offered by the Sinopharm vaccine, lasts for only four to six months.
By getting a booster dose in Dubai, you may be able to sustain protection, and safeguard yourself and others from emerging variants of the virus.
A third dose or a booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine will strongly boost protection against the Covid-19 Delta variant, according to experts.
Who is eligible for the booster vaccine?
To be eligible for the Pfizer booster in dose in Dubai, you will need to be a UAE resident who received their last Sinopharm dose at least three months ago.
According to the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), the booster shot is available for the following groups:
- UAE citizens.
- Domestic workers employed by UAE citizens.
- Resident expats who are 50 years old and above.
However, you don't necessarily need to fall under the DHA's listed eligibility groups above, as there have been many under-50s expats who received their booster vaccine.
Do I need a doctor's approval for the booster shot?
Residents in Dubai do not require a doctor's approval for the booster vaccine.
How to book your booster shot in Dubai
Here's how to book a Covid-19 booster shot appointment in Dubai:
Through the DHA app
- Download and install the DHA smart app.
- Create or login to your account, and create a new Covid-19 vaccine appointment.
- You will be asked to confirm your MRN or add another.
- Select your nearest vaccination centre that offers the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
- Enter your MRN, and confirm your appointment details.
To book through WhatsApp, save the number 800 342 to your phone's contact. Then, follow these steps:
- Start a WhatsApp message with the number by saying "Hi".
- Choose your preferred language and select option #3 to book a vaccine appointment.
- You will be asked to accept a disclaimer, and then link your medical record number, or MRN, to your WhatsApp account.
- The chatbot will ask you for a verification code that will be sent to your phone.
- Reply "mrnlinked" once done.
In some cases it is also possible to visit health centres in Dubai, including Al Barsha Hall and One Central, for your booster shot.