More UAE residents make up their minds: 'We're getting the Covid-19 vaccine'


Dubai - With the vaccination campaign in full swing across the country, experts have said cases are expected to go down eventually.

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By Saman Haziq

Published: Thu 21 Jan 2021, 9:43 PM

Last updated: Fri 22 Jan 2021, 8:18 AM

Residents who were previously unsure whether to take the Covid vaccine or not have now made a decision and signed up for jabs.

Ras Al Khaimah resident Sarah Khan said she and her family took a wait-and-watch approach as they were worried about possible side effects. However, the recent spike in cases served as a ‘wake-up call’, she said.

“I have been reading up a lot on the vaccines but due to some international news about the side effects, we were avoiding the vaccine.

However, the gradual increase in the number of Covid cases forced us to rethink our decision. Then, I recently heard a doctor’s advice on air, where he said taking the Covid vaccine is thousands times better than getting the disease, which affects everyone differently,” Khan said.

At once, she and her family got their first shots. “We even got our maid vaccinated. After seeing us, many of our relatives and friends are now queing up to take the jab.”

The UAE has been recording 3,000-plus single-day cases for a week now. On Thursday, the Ministry of Health and Prevention reported 3,529 cases. However, recoveries are also at an all-time high, with 3,901 recorded yesterday. With the vaccination campaign in full swing across the country, experts have said cases are expected to go down eventually.

Dubai resident Priyam Mahajan is not fit for the jab because of some allergies. But she ensured that her husband and the nanny of their 2-year-old took the shot.

“Some people we know contracted Covid-19 recently and although we had resumed our normal life of going out, we are ensuring we behave like responsible residents. We are following all safety protocols,” Mahajan said.

Another resident, Supriya Singhal, said that although she has moved to a new neighbourhood, she has put making new friends on hold.

“We still change our clothes and sanitise ourselves completely if we step out, as we know that the new virus strains can be more infectious. We continue to take precautions and have avoided going to crowded places since the pandemic set in.

“Soon, we are looking forward to taking the Covid vaccine, so we can meet our parents and relatives without fear of harming them.”

Food blogger Rimpy Gupta has given up going out and blogging due to the increase in cases.

“I mostly get invitations to try the food from restaurants and I used to go twice or thrice in a week.. Due to the current Covid situation, I now refrain from going out at all...As my kids are young, I have to be more careful.”

Confirming the rise in the number of vaccine enquiries, doctors have reiterated the importance of getting the jab and advised people not to let their guards down.

Dr Naresh Lal, specialist family medicine at NMC Specialty Hospital, Al Ain said: “The enquiries for vaccine have increased over the past few days. For everyone’s safety, it is advisable to schedule the vaccine appointment, rather than going in in groups to the centre.”

Dr Rajesh Kumar Gupta, internal medicine specialist at Burjeel Specialty Hospital Sharjah, affirmed that more residents are coming in for the vaccine.

“It’s a good thing that people are now more aware of the need to take the vaccine. It is everyone’s responsibility to reduce the spread of the infection by taking part in the vaccination drive,” Dr Rajesh said.

Dr Muhammad Aslam, pulmonologist at International Modern Hospital Dubai, added: “We have definitely seen a rise in vaccine queries. Most of my patients have been asking about the efficacy of the vaccines here and are asking about any side effects it has.

“Apart from the regular safety measures that people have been taking for a year now such as wearing mask, maintaining social distance, I would advise people to get vaccinated and add an extra layer of protection.”

‘I regret not taking the vaccine’

VL had taken all possible measures to steer clear of the virus but, last week, she tested positive. Now she wished she had taken the vaccine as an additional protection.

“I regret not taking the vaccine as my husband took the vaccine as a volunteer for the clinical trials. Thank God he is safe. I should have taken the vaccine as I am now going through terrible and weird symtom. The worst part is that I had also exposed my kids to this virus,” she said.

“As a family, we never went out much, we did most of our shopping online and my kids also opted for distance learning. We took all possible precautions to avoid contracting the virus, but despite all that, I got infected.”

Her son also tested positive but her 17-year-old was safe. “Now my daughter is rushing to get her first dose, while my husband is managing us all safely as he is vaccinated.”

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