Covid vaccine
Covid antidote is expected to be rolled-out all over the world Image Credit: Gulf News

The vaccination programme is well under way in the country and gathering momentum, thanks to excellent public-private sector partnership and the UAE health regulators’ farsightedness. Till last week, more than 1.28 million Emiratis and expatriates were vaccinated and thousands more are queuing up at vaccination centres across the country every day.

The UAE is aiming to vaccinate almost 50 per cent of the population by end of this quarter, a pace that is one of the highest in the world.

The UAE’s leadership last week issued a call to citizens and residents to enrol for vaccination — that is free and voluntary — and help return of normal day to day life. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said vaccination is the way forward and will “accelerate the full recovery of our country”.

Similarly, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said: “We hope that with vaccinations picking up pace we will reach the point of full recovery in the shortest possible time.”

There is a consensus around the world that mass inoculation is the only way out, and defeat of the pandemic is possible only when sizeable populations get the jab in each country. In recent days, new infections have gone up in the UAE, an indication of unpredictable trajectory of the virus even in territories where preventive measures are properly enforced and followed.

Through its columns, Gulf News has been highlighting the need to pay equal attention to both vaccination and safety measures and members of the public have a big responsibility to comply with both.

The UAE is aiming to vaccinate almost 50 per cent of the population by end of this quarter, a pace that is one of the highest in the world

- Gulf News

The global fight against coronavirus has entered a critical and decisive phase. While the vaccination is free and voluntary, health regulators must ensure that all segments of the society are covered by the programme. Several centres in the UAE have a three-step simplified process — walk in, register and get the shot — accelerating the pace of vaccination.

In order to keep the momentum, health authorities must also create awareness among sections of the society that are not covered by traditional media and make arrangements to take vaccines to their doorstep.

Still, going forward, the pace of vaccination in the UAE will largely depend on people’s eagerness to enrol themselves and their families. While the health authorities have ensured availability of shots across the country, they must also proactively dispel any misgivings about the process or the vaccine.