There are currently three vaccines approved for use in the UAE, but can you mix and match…?

The vaccines currently approved for use in the UAE are Pfizer/BioNTech, Sputnik V, and Sinopharm.

Although currently only Pfizer and Sinopharm are available at vaccination centres in Abu Dhabi residents in the UAE have benefited from the speed and efficiency with which authorities were able to acquire and mobilise the vaccines, with the country being placed at, or close to, the top in most Covid-19 vaccination rankings.

As of today (May 30, 2021) a total of 12,756,630 Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the country. That’s well over one per head, and closing in on the double dose goal figure for all those eligible to receive the jabs (excluding the under 12s, those with supressed immune systems etc).

Can I get another vaccine type after I’ve already been vaccinated ?

With the fact there are three different jabs widely available, it’s only natural ‘what if?’ thoughts turn to ‘doubling up on’ protection. Would it be beneficial, wise or even safe to get a vaccine from two different manufacturers? What does the research say? What do the authorities think?

The short answer to most of the questions concerning safety is that ‘we just don’t know yet’ — in principle, gathering antibodies as if they were Infinity Stones, is probably not the worst idea. However these jabs have only been around for the past 6 months, there is no long term research into any aspect of their efficacy, much less widespread studies of what happens when you treat your vaccine card like a child treats a Pic ‘n’ Mix bag.

What do the authorities say about taking vaccines from two different manufacturers ?

With little research available, what would likely be marginal gains from adoption, and because of limited global supply — most authorities around the world are currently choosing to err on the side of caution — advocating for sticking to one manufacturer. And the UAE certainly falls under that category.

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The global pandemic is obviously an ongoing issue, with evolving fronts and new challenges arrising without warning. In situations like this, the best policy is a fluid one, adapting rules, regulations and recommendations in light of new evidence and new events. And if the suggestions on multi-jabbing change, we’ll make sure we let you know.

Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP)

The MOHAP website has a handy series of FAQ responses which include an answer to the question ‘Is it safe to take more than one type of covid – 19 vaccine?’ The answer provided is ‘No, it is not safe to take different types of Covid – 19 vaccine.’

National Emergency and Crisis Management Authority (NCEMA)

Like MOHAP, the Covoid-19 FAQ section on the NCEMA website currently states that it is not safe to take more than one type of Covid vaccine.

Dubai Health Authority (DHA)

We called the DHA to find out if they were accepting appointments for Pfizer from those that had already been innoculated by the Sinopharm vaccine (and vice versa). They responded with a confirmation that this is currently not permitted.

Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA)

SEHA also said that at the moment, they are advising people not to mix Pfizer with Sinopharm.

Images: Getty