For most of this past year as we struggled to come to terms with the coronavirus. There was always the hope that the day would soon dawn when a vaccine would be available. Now, that day is here.
The first shipment of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine landed in Dubai late on Tuesday night on a flight from Brussels, setting the stage for this nation to begin fully rolling back the tide of this pandemic. Already, a number of measures have occurred to ensure that the inoculation programme will be a success.
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention announced the emergency registration of the Pfizer-BioNTech for use, while the Supreme Committee for Crisis and Management Disaster said the vaccine would be provided free of charge. The UAE Fatwa Council also allowed the use of the vaccine and concurred it was in accordance with the objectives of Sharia to protect the human soul.
While we must all continue to mask up, maintain social distance and wash our hands frequently, the arrival of this vaccine affords us the knowledge that there indeed is light at the end of this tunnel. We were in it together. We succeeded. And this vaccine protects us all. Together
Already a vaccine developed by Sinopharm and registered for use in the UAE has been made available to the public.
Now, the real effort begins in making sure that as many people as possible receive the vaccine as soon as possible. For the Pfizer vaccine to be fully effective, two separate jabs need to be administered three weeks apart. It must also be kept initially in refrigeration units capable of maintaining -70 Celsius before being distributed to inoculation centres.
Rolling out the vaccine
Given the challenges that so many have faced around the world in fighting this pandemic, rolling out the vaccine should be relatively straightforward — and officials at every level of government in the UAE are highly efficient and professional, thanks to the our leadership.
The old and the infirm will need to be protected first, so too the thousands of dedicated health care professionals and hospital workers who have faced the challenges brought by coronavirus. And so too the millions of citizens and expatriates who are proud to call the UAE home. The advent of this vaccine now is a portent of what is to come for 2021.
There will come a day soon when we will look back on 2020 and point to all who worked and forged a collective will to succeed. While we must all continue to mask up, maintain social distance and wash our hands frequently, the arrival of this vaccine affords us the knowledge that there indeed is light at the end of this tunnel. We were in it together. We succeeded. And this vaccine protects us all. Together.