OPINION: My experience with COVID-19 vaccine in Dubai


By Wanjiru Kihusa

On Tuesday, I received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine: Sinopharm to be precise.

A lot has been said about COVID-19 vaccines: safety of the various types available, side effects, effectiveness and so much more.

I believe everyone who gets a chance should be vaccinated but before I get that far let me explain how the process went.

I currently live in Dubai. The government –specifically the ministry of health – has an app. I booked my appointment three days ago.

I was able to select a vaccination centre of my choice as well as the day and time of my choosing.

I have been waiting for the vaccine to be open to the public for a while now and so as soon as I discovered it was, I booked the closest date.

Like most countries, the Dubai government gave priority to high-risk people and those in essential services.

My appointment was 9am on Tuesday morning and it took less than 30 minutes to get the whole process done.

I got there at about 10 minutes to 9am and was immediately shown where to go. I presented my Emirates ID and was handed a consent form to read and sign.

I did this at the assigned queue. The consent form had information on who should not get the vaccine, caution for women (mostly pregnancy and breastfeeding related issues) and possible side effects.

I counted 20 vaccination counters. The queues moved pretty fast. Once at the counter, the medical personnel asked me a couple of questions.

‘Are you allergic to any medicine? Have you tested positive for COVID before? Any chronic illness?’ among other questions.

When she ascertained I was eligible for the vaccine she went ahead and gave me the shot.

She told me what to do in case I get mild side effects like headache or fever then she handed me the vaccination card and told me when to come for the second dose.

I was happy with the service; it was efficient and the information provided was clear and easy to understand.

More than 30 hours later, I am happy to report that except soreness on the site of the shot, I have had no side effects.

I am definitely looking forward to the second dose and will of course continue to wear a mask and adhere to social distance regulations.

If you are still on the fence about this vaccine issue let me tell you something that may convince you to get it. My son is almost 4 years.

In the first 2 years I remember taking him for jabs for measles, polio, cholera and many others. Some of these vaccines were actually booster shots –basically just an additional dose.

Babies literally get vaccinated minutes after a birth.

A reason why COVID-19 vaccines have caused an uproar is because of all the coverage the pandemic has received which means everyone is on edge.

When you get the chance to be vaccinated against COVID-19, go get it. Protect yourself and your loved ones.

Wanjiru is Founder and CEO of Still A Mum Africa

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