Covid vaccine: UAE urges high-risk people to take booster 3 months after second shot

Health officials say 13,000 patients have been treated with the antiviral drug sotrovimab

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The UAE has recommended that high-risk people who have been fully vaccinated may receive their booster dose three months after taking their second shot of a Covid-19 vaccine.

For all others, there should be a gap of six months between the second shot and the booster.

The government announced the policy at the Covid-19 weekly briefing on Tuesday.

A booster shot after two doses of a vaccine increases immunity against the virus.

Health officials also stressed the importance of receiving appropriate treatment for Covid-19.

They said this includes sotrovimab, an antiviral drug that can save lives.

“The medicine can be prescribed to people above 12 years. It is very important for people who may face complications,” said Dr Noura Al Ghaithi, acting executive director of External Therapeutic Services.

“In 99 per cent of the cases, patients made a full recovery in just 14 days and only 20 per cent needed treatment in the hospitals.

“So far, 13,000 people have received the drug.”

She advised everyone to be vaccinated.

“Vaccines are the most important interventions in controlling the spread of the virus. Boosters can enhance immunity, reduce hospital admissions, and people do not need breathing devices.

“Getting tested regularly is important. Make it a habit,” she said.

She also restated the safety precautions that citizens and residents must follow when travelling abroad.

Dr Al Ghaithi urged travellers to be fully vaccinated before travelling. Citizens should register on the Twajudi service before they travel and report to the nearest UAE embassy if they become infected with the coronavirus in another country.

She said travellers must look into the prevalence of Covid-19 at their destination, and practise with all precautionary measures followed in the UAE, such as mask-wearing, physical distancing and using sanitiser, even if such measures are not mandated in the country they are visiting.

Getting health insurance that covers Covid-19 before embarking on the trip is also advised, she said.

Updated: August 04, 2021, 10:17 AM