Coronavirus: authorities urge people in UAE to be vaccinated

Restrictions for those who choose not to be vaccinated are being considered

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Related: Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine approved for use in Abu Dhabi

UAE residents aged 16 and above are being urged to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Authorities emphasised the need for everyone in the Emirates to be inoculated as soon as possible to protect the community and reduce the likelihood of virus mutations developing.

"Your hesitation today is an obstacle to our goals," said Dr Saif Al Dhaheri, spokesman for the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority.

"It puts your family, loved ones and community at risk. Receiving the vaccine will contribute to immunising and protecting this community from this epidemic.

Strict measures are being considered to restrict the movement of unvaccinated individuals and to implement preventive measures

"The vaccine is our best means to recover and return to a normal life."

Restrictions for those who have chosen not to be inoculated are being considered, Dr Al Dhaheri said.

"Strict measures are being considered to restrict the movement of unvaccinated individuals and to implement preventive measures, such as restricting entry to some places and having access to some services, to ensure the health and safety of everyone," he said.

A breakdown of the national vaccination campaign shows that 5,081,853 people have had their first dose and 3,836,521 have had the second, meaning 65.54 per cent of eligible groups have been vaccinated.

In the over-60s category, 74.63 per cent of people have been vaccinated.

The authorities also stressed the need to obtain accurate information about Covid-19 and the vaccines "and not to spread any inaccurate information on this topic", Dr Al Dhaheri said.

"For individuals with medical conditions, we recommend seeing a specialist doctor in one of the medical centres approved by health authorities to determine whether vaccination is possible, according to the health status of each person.”

Disabled people and their families are considered a priority group for vaccinations, and their health during the pandemic has been closely monitored by the government, said Mona Khalil, official spokeswoman of the UAE community sector.

Home testing for Covid-19 is being provided, as is advice for parents on how to prepare disabled children for the examination.

“A hybrid of treatment and physical exercise is being provided, in addition to remote mental and social treatment via calls and apps,” Ms Khalil said.

The Protect your Health programme helps people of determination whose weight was affected by quarantine.

And the Rest Assured guide for mental health aid was provided to help families detect any psychological, behavioural and emotional symptoms caused by the pandemic.

The education and achievements of people of determination was also revealed. Ms Khalil said 2,310 disabled people are now working thanks to the Ministry of Community Development recruitment platform.

About 1,500 people with disabilities are registered as volunteers on the government platform, she said.

The department also approved a smart app called With my Family for early intervention for disabled children under the age of six.

A home education guide was launched to give families teaching and education skills for children with disabilities.