Covid vaccine UAE: Bollywood actor thanks Dubai after taking jab
Shilpa Shirodkar spoke to City Times about her decision to take the coronavirus vaccine.
Bollywood and television actress Shilpa Shirodkar, star of popular '90s films like Gopi Kishan and Aankhen, recently revealed on Instagram that she had received the coronavirus vaccine in Dubai. Shilpa, who has been living in Dubai for over two-and-a-half years with her family, husband Aparesh Ranjit, a banker, and their teenage daughter Anoushka who studies at a local school, admitted she was not “hesitating at all” to get vaccinated.
Speaking to City Times about her decision, she said, “Obviously there was a lot of talk about which vaccine to go for and you know, it’s all about what you read in the news and what you see, but I wasn’t sceptical at all. I knew I had to get it done at some point because I just feel that it’s important to be a good and responsible citizen of the world.”
The Covid pandemic, she shared, has had a huge impact on her thought process and she believed that getting vaccinated was the best option. “The last year has taught us so much. I used to always believe that technology, science and knowledge have gotten the world so close and suddenly one fine day everything shut. All borders shut, you were forced to stay at home. So the whole world changed, the whole thought process changed. And it didn’t spare anyone. It was a global standstill. It affected everyone from all walks of life. I just felt that the hard work that scientists and doctors have put in and everything - we can’t doubt that, it’s incorrect, because nobody wants another pandemic. We are trying to get rid of the pandemic, that’s the reason it (the vaccine) has been made available to us.”
She was all praise for Dubai’s medical facilities and her experience of getting the jab at a local health institution. “The facilities were absolutely fantastic with security and medical staff serving with a smile to each and everyone of us. Hats off to the personnel involved who have been relentlessly working towards trying to make Dubai and the entire UAE and its residents safe. This surely wouldn’t have been possible without the UAE government and their drive to make the vaccinations freely and readily available to their residents. Thank you Dubai and thank you to all the medical and support staff for making this happen.”
When asked if she had consulted family or spoken to anyone before deciding to take the vaccine, Shilpa said, “As soon as I got to know more about it, I just went ahead and took it. Of course I spoke to my sister (actress Namrata Shirodkar), my husband, my 17-year-old daughter and my brother in law (actor Mahesh Babu) - that’s my family and they were like, just go get it.”
Shilpa also revealed her husband and daughter have yet to get the vaccine. “Unfortunately in the holidays we didn’t know more about it so we didn’t go and get it at the time. My husband and my daughter have not been able to take it (yet) because schools and offices opened on January 3. So I went and took it and I took my (domestic) help as well and we went with another friend, so it was like a little picnic day for us! And it was fantastic. The staff at the center were so helpful, from the security to the doctors to the nurses - they were all smiling and it didn’t even look like they had been working from 8am in the morning, which is incredible.”
The actress said she was unprepared for the attention she received upon putting up an Instagram post about getting the jab. “I took my first vaccine and I put it up on Instagram not realizing that I’m going to get calls from everywhere. It was such a proud moment for me honestly - it’s like saying thank you to people you can’t reach out to.”
Married for two decades now, Shilpa has lived “practically all across the globe” but Dubai endeared itself to her in a short span of time. “I love this place. I’ve met such amazing people here - I just feel at home. Dubai for me I would proudly say is very close to home, and it is home, actually,” she shared.
So can her fans expect to see her back on screen soon? “Honestly, I would love to do something because everything has evolved over time - the digital platform has become so prominent now. I would love to do something in Dubai. Travelling back to India and forth would also be a possibility. Right now I don’t have anything in the pipeline, just waiting for the right opportunity. It would be nice to be in front of the camera again - I’ve grown up doing that.”