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Covid-19: Parents hail UAE move to vaccinate kids above 3 years

nandini@khaleejtimes.com Filed on August 2, 2021
AFP

It will pave way for schools and colleges to open, kickstart travel, rebuild the economy, they say.

Parents are overjoyed after the UAE approved the Sinopharm jab for children in the 3-17 years’ age group.

On Monday, the UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention announced that approval for the emergency registration of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine for children followed extensive clinical trials and evaluations.

“Sooner or later everybody needs to get vaccinated. This means now all members of the family will be protected against the virus, said Emirati Mohammad Falaknaz.

“I was really happy when the UAE approved the vaccine for children 12 and above. Soon after, I took my eldest child - who is 12 years - to the vaccination centre. My daughter has now completed all her doses. Now that the age criterion has been reduced to three, my other two children who are five and eight can also get vaccinated, except for the youngest who is one. I will be one of the first ones in line to book an appointment to get my children vaccinated.”

Parents told Khaleej Times that the way to defeat Covid-19 requires a majority of people to be vaccinated to save lives. More people getting vaccinated will pave the way for schools and colleges to open, kickstart the travel and tourism sector, rebuild the economy and lead a worry-free life, they said.

Ami Rasheed, an Indian mother of a 10-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son living in Dubai, said: “Since we completed our vaccination nearly six months ago, we have been asking doctors and peers ‘When can our children get the Covid-19 vaccine?’ That question has been answered now. We are now one more major step closer to the safety of our children. This is a massive initiative by the UAE authorities. Thanks to the UAE Health Ministry. It is a privilege for us to live in the UAE and raise our children in a safer place in the world. This is also going to change the mindset of people when it comes to public health safety.”

While the condensed timelines for vaccine approvals is still a cause of concern for some, most people agree their doctors, health care workers and available vaccine data can increasingly help assuage these concerns.

Russian expat Liara Slavalova who has a four-year old son, Maxim, says: “There are some lingering concerns about this, but children above 12 are getting vaccinated and they’ve been fine so far. Therefore, while a part of me is a little unsure, I feel it’s best to put our trust in the doctors and members of the medical fraternity. We still see a large number of people getting infected, so this move will aid things in the sense that even if a child does get infected there are lesser chances of the case getting severe. This thought in itself is hugely comforting to any parent. Besides, now we don’t have to panic every time our child is down with a cough or cold, thinking it can be Covid-19 or that it can worsen my child’s situation.”

Dubai resident, Arijit Nandi says, “The nation is making good progress in getting an increasing number of people vaccinated. With people still getting infected with Covid-19, this initiative will definitely help to assuage the fear in people’s minds. All children can now return to school for in-person learning. People can start travelling without any apprehension. I will definitely consider this for my child after a final consultation with my child’s pediatrician. What the UAE government is doing for its citizens and residents is truly heartening.”

nandini@khaleejtimes.com

Nandini Sircar





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