Dubai: The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHaP) has further expanded its COVID-19 vaccination campaign by opening up booking slots for 12 to 15-year-olds for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine through the ministry website or COVID-19 app.
The ministry also noted that those who took the second dose of the Sinopharm vaccine at least six months ago are now eligible to receive booster shots.
This came days after MoHaP approved the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children within that age group, following the completion of clinical trials and a strict assessment conducted to approve the local emergency use of the vaccine, as well as the approval of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
This comes as part of the UAE’s relentless efforts to vaccinate the largest possible population to achieve acquired immunity targets, given the fact that vaccinations are considered the best medical interventions to prevent diseases and pandemics.
The approval of the vaccine for this age group is another crucial stage in the efforts being made to get more closer to the recovery phase and immunise the UAE society.
Despite the low prevalence of COVID-19 infections among children, vaccination is still very important, especially with the gradual return of students to schools during the next academic year. This, in turn, will help enhance the sense of safety among children that their health is well-maintained.
Speeding up recovery phase
“The state’s decision to provide the Pfizer Covid vaccine to the 12-15 age group, in addition to the Sinopharm booster dose, clearly reflects the keenness of the state’s wise leadership to immunise the community as a national priority. It is also an important input in the fight against the pandemic to reach the recovery phase and bring life back to normal, thereby increasing optimism and reassurance in society,” said Dr Hussein Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary of Health Centres and Clinics Sector.
Al Rand added: “The fruitful results achieved by the national COVID-19 vaccine campaign and the high turnout of community members being witnessed by the health centres to obtain the vaccine confirm the efficiency and effectiveness of the measures taken by the UAE government and boost confidence in the health system.”
According to global reports, the UAE is considered one of the best countries in the world in dealing with COVID-19 — thanks to the development of the health sector and the utilisation of expertise and capacities to preserve the gains, he said in conclusion.
Fully-equipped health facilities
Dr Nada Al Marzouqi, Director of Preventive Medicine Department, asserted that the COVID-19 vaccine centres are fully equipped with specialised and well-trained health cadres and medical equipment and supplies to welcome those aged 12 -15 to get the vaccine, as well as those who received their second dose of Sinopharm vaccine at least six months ago to get the booster dose. This falls within the UAE’s strenuous efforts to enhance the protection of community members from getting infected with coronavirus and maintain their health and safety.
Al Marzouqi noted that work is underway to increase the operational capacity of vaccine centres to accommodate the increasing demand by individuals to get the COVID-19 vaccine, emphasising that vaccination doesn’t mean that the pandemic is over. She urged community members to remain committed to precautionary and preventive measures to preserve the gains and immunise the society against coronavirus mutations.