Things to know before taking the COVID – 19 vaccine in UAE

Dr Titty Mary Thomas, Specialist Family Medicine, Aster Clinic, JLT, Dubai

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, recently tweeted that UAE has come a long way in handling the COVID -19 pandemic and the message to everyone is to quickly get the vaccine, because it protects our health, economy and achievements; and will accelerate the recovery of our nation.

Availability of the vaccine

The United Arab Emirates is offering free COVID-19 vaccinations to all citizens and residents as the leaders strive in pursuit of the goal of a nationwide immunity against the Coronavirus.

People in the UAE have shown enthusiasm and optimism in taking the jab as early as possible ever-since the leaders of the country helped in boosting the confidence of the general population by taking the first shots of the jab in early November, last year.

Another important aspect is the fact that the vaccine is being provided free of cost. When we visit the vaccine centres, we can see that people from different strata of society are there to get the shots. This has developed confidence among the population that nobody is left out in the fight against Coronavirus.

Why people should take the Covid-19 vaccine

Doctors and medical researchers strongly advice taking the vaccination against Coronavirus. There are many reasons to get vaccinated.

  • COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the UAE have shown to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19 infection.
  • From the early data of clinical trials, experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine may also help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19
  • Getting yourself vaccinated may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk of severe illnesses from COVID-19
  • COVID-19 vaccination has the ability to keep people from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody (immune system) response without having to experience the sickness.

Researchers & doctors do understand that some people have genuine concerns about getting vaccinated. All COVID-19 vaccines developed are carefully evaluated in clinical trials and authorized or approved only after showing a substantially less likelihood of catching the COVID-19 infection.

While more COVID-19 vaccines are being developed as quickly as possible, routine processes and procedures remain in place to ensure the safety of each batch of vaccine that is authorized or approved for use.

Safety of the people of the UAE who are taking the vaccines remains a top priority for the healthcare workers and leaders of the country.

Points to keep in mind before getting vaccinated

Wearing masks and social distancing helps to reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others but these measures alone are not enough at this point of time. Vaccines will work with your immune system preparing it to fight the virus if you are exposed.

A vaccine may not be available immediately for everybody and the return to our familiar ways of routine life will take time. Although the vaccination will certainly diminish the relative risk associated with the disease, we still should not completely abandon basic public health measures, including the wearing of masks and social distancing.

Hence the people should follow government advisories on gatherings and celebrations and continue to practice the safety protocols strictly.