Coronavirus: UAE residents urged to get vaccinated to lead the way back to normality

It is vital people remain committed to safety measures, even after receiving both doses of a vaccine, medical officials say

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UAE residents are being urged to throw their support behind a nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive and help pave the way for a return to normal life.

Dr Saif Al Dhaheri, spokesman for the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, said taking the vaccine was the safest way for the nation to stage a recovery from the wide-ranging effects of the pandemic.

During a televised briefing on Tuesday, he said the immunisation campaign could succeed only with the help of the public.

Close to 2.7 million doses of vaccine have been distributed since the public health push began last month.

"The vaccine is the safest way towards a full and sustainable recovery, the only way to restore normalcy and resume economic activity in all sectors," Dr Al Dhaheri said.

"This requires the community to respond to the campaign and take the vaccine.

"Every individual who takes the vaccine is actively participating in the efforts to combat and overcome this pandemic and leads us to a recovered society."

The Sinopharm vaccine was made available countrywide on December 9, with the Pfizer-BioNTech one introduced in Dubai two weeks later.

Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine was registered for emergency use last week.

Authorities aim to inoculate half of the population by the end of March.

Dr Al Dhaheri said that it was vital for people to remain committed to safety measures, even after receiving both doses of a vaccine.

The UAE announced a record 3,601 infections on Tuesday, its highest number of cases for a 15th day in a row.

"The UAE monitors the results of the national vaccination campaign and its implications on the number of infections, as well as emphasising the importance of adherence to precautionary and preventive measures," Dr Al Dhaheri said.

"The community's commitment to official procedures and guidelines is the key to maintaining the achievements of the UAE in managing the Covid-19 pandemic and recovering from its effects at all levels; health, economic and social."

That commitment was one of the main reasons why the UAE succeeded in containing the first wave of the virus last year, Dr Al Dhaheri said.

"Today we are renewing the bet on them and trusting them to be the key player in the face of the pandemic's second wave," he said.