Aarav Maskara after his first Sinopharm jab 1-1629349586431
Aarav Maskara after his first Sinopharm vaccine Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: All of six years and nine months, Aarav Maskara bravely volunteered for the COVID-19 vaccination as soon as the UAE government allowed jabs for children above the age of six. A bright pupil of grade 1 at Delhi Private School, Dubai, Aarav is a student council member at his school. He was also selected as the wellbeing ambassador for Grades 1 and 2. His mother Navita told Gulf News that Aarav, her only child, is very responsible. He was the class representative in KG2, at the age of five.

“I am six-and-a-half years old and I got my first vaccine dose on August 8. When my mother told me that vaccinations had started for six-year olds, I decided that I had to take it,” Aarav said. “In my school, I am the wellbeing ambassador for grades 1 and 2 and it is my job to keep an eye on children in my grade in the corridor, make sure they are wearing the mask and maintaining social distance. I resumed going to school this session in March. Now we have a summer break,” he added.

Aarav with parents Vishal and Navita Maskara-1629349588625
Aarav with his parents Vishal and Navita Maskara Image Credit: Supplied

‘There was no pain’

“I was initially scared of the pain that the injection would give me and the fever I would get. However, my mother Navita and my father Vishal motivated me and encouraged me. They were with me when we went to Bollywood Parks to take the vaccine. I saw a few other children too. The nurse was very sweet and made me feel relaxed. I was scared of the pain, but the nurse told me to close my eyes, take a deep breath and before I knew it, the jab was done! There was no pain. I did not even get fever the next day. My second dose of Sinopharm vaccine is due on August 29. I am so happy I took the vaccination. I know people can really get very sick with COVID-19,” Aarav said.

Vaccine is the best way to fight COVID-19

“As a wellbeing ambassador, I wanted my friends to know that it is safe to take the vaccine. I have told all my friends and classmates about my experience. So far, only a few have taken the vaccine. I am hoping that before the summer vacation ends, everyone will have taken the vaccine. I am calling up and encouraging all my friends to take it. This is the best way we can fight COVID-19 and have all the fun in the classroom too.”

Rashmi Nandkolyear, Principal of Delhi Private School, Dubai applauded the gesture of parents and their wards in taking the initiative for vaccinations especially since schools are slated to open in the first week of September for the new term and are expecting a full uptake.

“Our parents and students have been extremely proactive and responsible in signing up for the COVID-19 vaccine ever since it became available, first for students who are 16+ and now, for younger students in primary grades. Our staff is fully vaccinated, in fact many of us have completed our booster shots too. The visionary government of Dubai has generously provided free vaccines for everybody and it is our duty to keep not only our school safe but also the community at large. If we work together, we can control the pandemic and bring normalcy back into our lives.”