Sultan Al Jaber: Covid-19 vaccine is part of UAE's path to recovery

UAE minister received full vaccination and encourages others to follow suit

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The safety of our society depends on the health of its individuals, said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, as he joined the country's leadership in encouraging the public to get vaccinated.

On Wednesday, the Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology said the nationwide vaccination drive would protect Emiratis and residents.

The minister, who is also head of the Covid-19 Crisis Recovery Management and Governance Committee, said widespread immunisation would help to accelerate the UAE's recovery from the effects of Covid-19 on the economy.

"The UAE was one of the first countries that was keen to provide and introduce the vaccine," he said.

He said the prioritisation of frontline workers, the elderly and people with chronic illnesses, before a wider introduction of the vaccine, "confirms the UAE's proactive approach to caring for the health and safety of every member of society".

Almost 1.3 million doses of the vaccine have been administered since the campaign began last month with tens of thousands of shots given each day.

Dr Al Jaber said he was among the 250,000 people in the UAE to have been completely vaccinated against Covid-19, having received two doses 28 days apart.

He said the speed in which the vaccine was brought in was an indication of the high levels of efficiency and co-ordination between local task forces.

"This campaign reflects the distinguished efforts and advanced capabilities of our national work system. Through its rapid response to the pandemic, it has proven its ability to immunise our society and ensure its safety ... to overcome this exceptional circumstance and move forward towards the stage of recovery."

On Tuesday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, each encouraged members of the public to get vaccinated.

“My message to everyone is to hasten to be vaccinated to protect our health, our economy and our achievements,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.

The UAE has authorised the use of the Sinopharm vaccine, which, when trialled locally, was found to be 86 per cent effective. Wider tests conducted by the Chinese pharmaceutical company indicated that the vaccine was 79 per cent effective against Covid-19.

In Dubai, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is also available for use by over-60s, frontline workers and people with underlying health conditions that place them at greater risk of serious illness.

Inoculations for the rest of the population are expected to begin in the coming months.

There are no charges for the vaccines and taking them is voluntary.