UAE: Free Covid-19 vaccine for those with expired residency, entry visas in Abu Dhabi
Any type of formal identification, even if expired, can be used to register for the jab.
People living in Abu Dhabi on expired residency or entry visas, including expired visit visas, can now receive free Covid-19 vaccines.
“The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee has approved providing free Covid-19 vaccines to everyone who has an expired residency or entry visa, for their safety and health, and in consideration of the exceptional circumstances resulting from the pandemic,” the Abu Dhabi Government Media Office tweeted.
The announcement was made in English, Hindi and Tagalog languages to reach out to the maximum population in the emirate.
Importantly, now “any type of formal identification, even if expired, can be used to register at the designated vaccination centres”.
To date, only an Emirates ID or valid residency visa was acceptable for registering to receive any vaccine in the emirate. So, the free jabs will be available to anyone in possession of any valid document to prove his/her identity.
Such a move is primarily targeting those who are now without jobs and have had their visas of any type expired amid the pandemic crisis. Violators who will benefit include those on expired entry permits be it visit or tourist visas.
When contacted, different private healthcare groups said they are yet to receive any official communication and hope for further guidance from the health authorities by Saturday or Sunday.
This announcement from the Abu Dhabi Government comes days before the implementation of the ‘green pass’ system of entry into most public places in the emirate.
General public, social workers and community leaders in Abu Dhabi welcomed the decisions, which will benefit people living illegally and unable to take the vaccine jab.
A jobless person with an expired visa, who is living in the industrial area of Mussafah, lauded the move.
“I had tried to take a vaccine shot at a centre here in Mussafah, but the staff wanted a valid Emirates ID. In the past, I had taken a PCR test but not a vaccine yet. Now, I am just waiting for further clarity from where I can take the shot,” said an Indian expat, whose visa expired earlier this year.
Jefree Caperal, a Filipino resident, hailed the all-inclusive move by the local authorities.
“The decision on green pass and now offering vaccines to people on expired visas is a very generous thought from the Abu Dhabi Government. We know there will be many poor people, who will be without vaccinations. Now, they can take the jab for free and without any fear.”
Community leader Jitendra Vaidya said the move will help build a sense of secure bonding among individuals.
“As a community organisation, we understand that this decision will benefit many individuals. The initiative is highly commendable. This will give people a feel of bonding and security,” said Vaidya, president, Indian People’s Forum UAE.
Meanwhile, the local authorities have also launched a comprehensive and intense testing and vaccination campaign in Mussafah. Such measures including the ‘green pass’ are based on the emirate’s four-pillar strategy focused on vaccination, active contract tracings, safe entry and adopting preventive measures to combat Covid-19.
The UAE on Friday reported 2,281 cases and three deaths. Meanwhile, 94,223 vaccine doses were given in the last 24 hours, to reach a total of 13.68 million at a distribution rate of 138.36 doses per 100 people.
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