Thursday 21 October 2021 - 7:44:12 pm

UAE leadership's support, proactive planning, collaboration, efficiency of health system behind success of national COVID-19 vaccination campaign: Media Briefing

ABU DHABI, 18th May, 2021 (WAM) -- Dr. Farida Al Hosani, Official Spokesperson of the UAE health sector, has attributed the success of the national vaccination campaign to the support of the country’s leadership, proactive planning, collaboration with strategic partners, the efficiency and competitiveness of the UAE health system, and the rapid process of registering approved vaccines.

This is in addition to the efficient role played by media, awareness campaigns and community cooperation, she added.

During the UAE Government's regular media briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Al Hosani said that a booster shot of the Sinopharm vaccine can be taken by those who took their second dose over six months ago, noting that priority will be accorded to the elderly and those with chronic diseases.

The UAE’s efforts to offer vaccine doses include supporting friendly countries in overcoming the health crisis and achieving recovery, she further added.

Dr. Al Hosani pointed out that, upon the directives of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union (GWU), Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and Honorary Chairperson of the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC), the "Mother of the Nation," the first phase of vaccinating many thousands of refugees in Jordan and Iraq through the ERC has been completed.

She said 73.88 percent of all eligible groups aged 16 and over had been inoculated, with this number amounting to 80.33 percent for the over-sixties.

"More than 11.5 million vaccine doses have been administered to date at a rate of 117.23 per 100 people," she noted, adding that a policy to take an additional booster dose of the same vaccine six months after the second dose has been approved, and the UAE has administered over 47 million coronavirus tests.

Dr. Al Hosani further said that relevant authorities are monitoring the results of the national vaccination campaign, which proved that it has contributed to reducing the rates of hospitalisation and use of ventilators while accelerating recovery and curbing the spread of the virus.

All types of vaccines must undergo strict testing and go through several assessment phases, including clinical tests, before their approval, she explained, affirming that relevant national committees are keeping pace with international updates regarding vaccines, which are being regularly assessed for full approval or emergency use according to the country’s laws and regulations.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has approved the urgent use of the Pfizer- BioNTech vaccine for the 12-15 age group, in line with the vaccination campaign, which will support the national efforts to address the pandemic and protect this age group, reflecting the UAE’s proactive approach to protecting the health and safety of the entire community, she stated.

She also stressed that vaccinating children, despite their low infection rate, is highly important amidst the gradual resumption of school classes next year, and parents should not be alarmed, as vaccination will help everyone feel safe and protect the health and safety of children.

"Expanding vaccine coverage allows us to provide vaccines to the biggest proportion of the population in order to reach herd immunity. It is important as children go back to schools. To parents, rest assured this vaccine will help us all feel safe and protect the health of children. It will reduce burden on parents who have children learning online."

Dr. Al Hosani highlighted the fact that the country is keen to fully engage the community in addressing the crisis, by raising the public’s awareness of developments and scientific facts related to COVID-19.

To ensure acquired immunity, community members should adopt a healthy lifestyle and follow the general guidelines of how to be in good health, such as avoiding smoking, staying fit, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and avoiding stress, in addition to adhering to all precautionary measures, she stressed.

"We urge everyone to get tested for their Vitamin-D level, and herein we stress the importance of Vitamin-D, Vitamin-C and Zinc, as they boost immunity and help the body fight communicable diseases, including COVID-19," she said.

"We thank all members of the community for showing a sense of commitment and ethical responsibility by cooperating and adhering to the precautionary measures, underscoring the community’s cooperation with the national efforts to contain the virus and accelerate recovery. We recently registered significant achievements and there are still more achievements to accomplish in the coming period to maintain the country’s gains. Therefore, everyone must cooperate to achieve herd immunity," she added

WAM/Hazem Hussein/Hatem Mohamed/Tariq alfaham