Vaccine a responsibility: Together we triumph

Dubai - How do we fight the pandemic? How do we make everyone’s life safe and secure? Why should we take the jab? Listen to what our vaccine ambassadors have to say

By Staff Report

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Published: Mon 25 Jan 2021, 10:17 AM

Last updated: Mon 25 Jan 2021, 12:11 PM

Why sit on the sidelines when one of the world’s fastest vaccination campaigns is gathering pace in the UAE? With more than two million people already vaccinated, and close to 100,000 jabs given daily, the country plans to protect 50 per cent of its population by March. Herd immunity is close at hand and it is our responsibility to keep ourselves and others safe by taking the jab, just like the men and women featured on this page who have got their shot in the arm. Experts say the vaccination drive will put the UAE on an early road to recovery from the pandemic that has devastated millions of lives and livelihoods. The Great Disruption of the modern era must end, and science has provided us with a solution in record time. The speed of this initiative will determine how quickly people heal and return to a normal life after an abysmal 2020. Though cases are rising, there’s rapid progress on the vaccine front, with the UAE second behind Israel in the number of jabs per 100 people. The rollout has been smooth, and there are plenty of doses for everyone, officials told Khaleej Times recently. New centres are being opened and the community is involved, including places of worship that have been converted into temporary vaccination centres.

Three vaccines — the Chinese Sinopharm, Pfizer-BionTech and Russia’s Sputnik V, the latest to be cleared for emergency use — are on offer. But the challenge is to change mindsets and let fears dissipate about innoculations during a global emergency. A YouGov survey says 63 per cent of the UAE population is open to vaccinations. Herd immunity of 70 per cent is the goal through this drive. The UAE is almost there with the active participation of all sections of society. Now, here’s the good news: herd immunity will give the pathogen fewer hosts to spread, which will eventually lead to a weakened virus that could soon die out as more vaccines enter the market and more people get the jab. The immediate goal is to reduce community transmission and save lives while ensuring continuity of business. In essence, vaccines are our only hope, and it is important to be guided by science.

To prove that vaccines are safe and effective, the government has taken the lead. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, was among the first to take the shot. The programme has now been extended to those as young as 16, which could give more teenagers immunity from a virus that has many variants and mutations. One can only hope that these mutations are less deadly as researchers get to the bottom of the scourge. So why delay? Heed the call of the medical fraternity, the leadership and these men and women on our pages and head out to one of the 150 vaccination centres across the country to take the jab. Let’s fight the contagion together.

All members of society should comply with precautionary measures in a bid to stop the spread of Covid-19. I urge the public to take the vaccine to get herd immunity against SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease, and rein in the raging contagion. - Lt General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-chief, Dubai Police

I’m grateful that the UAE Government has taken this admirable initiative to make the vaccine available at the earliest. I’m happy I could take the jab now and lead a normal healthy life, which went for a toss for most of last year. - Bishop Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of the Vicariate of Southern Arabia

I hail the UAE leadership’s exceptional response in dealing with the Covid-19 crisis. The UAE is among the first countries to provide the vaccine to its citizens and residents. The government deserves praise for helping other countries beat the Covid-19 pandemic blues. - Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah, chairman, UAE Fatwa Council

Vaccination is a crucial step in providing a sustainable solution against the pandemic. It can helpus build herd immunity. On the cusp of Expo 2020, we must give confidence to the world by making the UAE Covid-19 free. - Dr Azad Moopen , Founder Chairman & MD, Aster DM Healthcare

It’s important for everyone to voluntarily take the vaccine in order to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. We also need to be socially responsible and support the nation’s vision to secure its nationals and residents from the viral outbreak. The UAE is back in business and it’s our responsibility to help keep the economy going. - Mohammed Galadari, Co-chairman, Galadari Brothers

Initially, I was too scared to get inoculated. Later, I changed my mind. I took the shot last week. Now, I feel safe, secure, and protected. I’m encouraging everyone to get vaccinated. It’s the way forward in the New Year, as we look forward to start life afresh.- Hafiz Mohammed Ahmed, teacher, Dubai

The jab will liberate us from quarantine restrictions, which had become the new normal last year. I’m feeling reassured after taking the jab. Normalcy will be restored soon. Happy days will be back again, and the world will conquer this unprecedented viral outbreak. - Tadej Pogacar, UAE Team Emirates rider and Tour de France champion

We’re blessed to be living in a country whose wise leadership is leaving no stone unturned to ensure the safety and wellbeing of its citizens and residents alike by providing vaccines free of cost. We need to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. - Avishesha Bhojani, Group CEO, BPG Group

The vaccine holds the key to recovery. I’ve been inoculated. All of us must take the jab. It helps to keep the community safe. The world will become a safer place because of the government’s mass vaccination drive, which has got an overwhelming response. - - Kamal Vachani, Group Director, Al Maya Group

The pandemic has changed our worldview. Covid-19 transcends age, gender, and ethnicity, as the virus doesn’t discriminate. A vaccine is a solution to surmount the healthcare challenge. I’ve taken both doses. I urge everyone to sign up to take the jab. - - Rizwan Sajan, Founder and Chairman, Danube Group

The Covid-19 vaccine is a significant step in fighting the pandemic. The vaccine is a ray of hope to strengthen our immune system to avoid any further spread of the viral infection that has roiled the world economy amid an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. - Taher Shams, MD, Zulekha Hospital, Dubai

Health and happiness are the two most important things in life. The vaccine is the only known remedy to overcome the lethal Covid-19 pandemic. We must get ourselves vaccinated at the earliest, take all precautionary measures and move on with our daily schedule as fast as possible. - Shaikh Abdul Karim, MD, Immaculate Consultancy

A vaccine is the only known cure for Covid-19. The contagion has made us realise the importance of health and safety. Globally, more people have become health-conscious. We must take the jab soon, as the world looks forward to getting back on track. - Faizal E Kottikollon, Founder Chairman, KEF Holdings

We’ve a solution at hand in the form of vaccines. We’re spoilt for choice with three vaccines. The UAE has been phenomenal in tackling this pandemic. They have made it available to every citizen and resident free. Around 80 per cent of our staff has been inoculated. - Amit Malani, president, Harman Middle East

Vaccination is a vital preventive process. It helps keep us safe by developing herd immunity. Covid-19 has affected over millions of people worldwide and the UAE has spent substantial resources to address the issue. We must ensure that the curve is flattened. - Ram Buxani, Chairman, ITL-Cosmos group

I’ve received the first dose of the vaccine and the booster is expected in another 10 days. The vaccine has given me peace of mind that eluded me last year. Being part of the nationwide inoculation is our responsibility to family, and community. - Ali Shabdar, Regional Director, Zoho Corp, Middle East & Africa

The vaccines offered in the UAE are our only hope against the coronavirus. This is no time to procrastinate. The vaccine is the biggest unifier during this crisis. Everyone should take the shot at the earliest and keep themselves and their families safe. - Kazi Gulshan Ara, MD, Aydin Group

We’re truly blessed to be living in this beautiful country, the UAE, which we call home. While the world is reeling under the impact of Covid-19, we’ve an incredible choice to take our pick from three vaccines free of cost. We’re grateful to the UAE government. - Poonam Bhojani, CEO,Innoventures

Covid-19 was an unknown disease until a year ago. Now, unfortunately, it’s a grim reality. Let’s get ourselves vaccinated to get back to our normal lives. The time is ripe to make the best use of the opportunity being offered by the UAE’s visionary leadership. - Salahuddin Morshed, technical services engineer, Emirates airline, Dubai

Our body takes 14 days to create antibodies. I am taking the vaccine as a preventive measure. The vaccine prepares antibodies and kills the virus before it can infect us. Who thought a year ago that a vaccine would be available so soon? - Dr Maan Taba, consultant surgeon, Medcare Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital

We’re largely protected if we take the jab. There is a negligible chance of contracting a mild and asymptomatic infection. It also strengthens our immunity. Taking the jab will play a key role in curbing the pandemic. It doesn’t have any side-effects. - Dr R. Alexis Jude Dominic Xavier, specialist, Orthopedics, Aster Hospital, Mankhool, Dubai

We all know that Covid-19 can have life-threatening complications. Vaccination is critical, as it helps to protect you by creating antibodies. The pandemic can be controlled if all people from all walks of life volunteer to take the jab. - Dr Shilpa Murthy, general physician, Aster Clinic, Arabian Ranches, Dubai

Modern science has improved people’s quality of life tremendously in the last 50 years. Vaccines are essential to fight the raging pandemic. Every individual should take the jab. It’s high time we took the pledge to receive the shot free of cost. - Dr Rasha Alani, Specialist Family Medicine, Medcare Medical Centre, Al Khawaneej, Dubai

I’m a mother and I must keep my family members safe. It is also my duty to keep my community members safe as a social worker. I’ve decided to take the vaccine because it’ll help me protect my loved ones and also my community and country. - Juhi Yasmeen Khan,social activist and philanthropist

Initially, I was hesitant to take the vaccine. But later, I volunteered for it. I haven’t faced any side-effects since I took the shot. I thank the UAE government for making this vaccine available to the public free of cost. The initiative has made the community feel safe and secure. - Zuhdy Aqeel, PR officer, NMC Speciality Hospital, Al Ain

I decided to take the jab, as my parents are in the high-risk category. Besides, my job at a small and medium enterprise involves interacting with people from all walks of life. I’m looking forward to this year as one of healing. - Rashid Yar, an employee at a medical supply company in Dubai

The Covid-19 outbreak unfolded in front of my eyes in my sector, the sports industry. I took the jab at the first available opportunity. It’s my humble contribution towards building a safer, healthier, and prosperous UAE, which is welcoming to diverse nationalities. - Vivek Chandra, Director, ITW

I took the jab on January 17. I’m feeling fine. I think it’s the best thing I have ever done for myself. The vaccine will safeguard us from the contagion. The pandemic has caused irreparable loss to all the key sectors but the vaccines have given us renewed hope. - Khaled Mahmoud Ali Elsayed, educator, Dubai

My wife and I took the vaccine on January 23. Most of our office and gurdwara employees have been vaccinated and the rest will follow suit soon. We must strengthen the UAE Government’s initiative by joining the vaccination drive. Surender Singh Kandhari, Chairman, Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Temple, Dubai

I took the vaccine on January 6. Vaccination is a ray of hope that springs eternal for mankind. Vaccination will save people from suffering and losing their loved ones. Let us put our best foot forward to join the mass vaccination drive. - Fr Lennie JA Conully, parish priest, St Mary’s Catholic Church, Dubai

We must thank Allah for the Covid-19 vaccines. On December 21, the UAE’s Fatwa Council issued a decree that the vaccines are halaal and safe to be administered. The vaccines uphold the tenets of Islam and all Muslims should take the jab. Dr Abdul Hameed Zafar, imam of a mosque at International City, Dubai

My second dose of the vaccine is due on February 2. It’s better to be safe than sorry. We should repose our faith in the UAE Government’s untiring efforts. Let us behave like responsible residents by taking the jab to service our community members. - Lalit Karani, head, Krishna Temple, Bur Dubai

My husband and I took the vaccine in December. We took the booster dose last week. At first, we were rather hesitant. However, when three persons at my husband’s office took ill all of a sudden, we came to the conclusion about the vaccine’s safety and efficacy.- Valerie Bach, resident of Dubai

We are extremely fortunate to live in the UAE where we have easy access to Covid-19 vaccines for free. As a healthcare worker, I was keen to get inoculated at the first available opportunity. I am thankful that I took the jab. - Dr Rowena Eadie, specialist, family medicine, Valiant Clinic and Hospital, Dubai

Our community should get vaccinated as it would help develop herd immunity at the earliest. Vaccinations will also reduce the severity of the Covid-19 infection. It’s our moral duty to join the UAE Government’s praise-worthy efforts like this nationwide vaccination drive. - Dr Verushka Mansukhani, specialist, Prime Hospital, Dubai

We’re looking forward to a world without masks, as we want to overcome the Covid-19 challenge. I’ve taken the jab. I’ve been relentlessly urging my friends and acquaintances to get vaccinated. Vaccine awareness is key to a Covid-19-free world in the near future.- Dharmajan Patteri, Director, AFS Auditing

I decided to take the jab because as a journalist I interact with people from all walks of life on a daily basis. I fall in the vulnerable category of people, who are susceptible to contracting the infection. The public can avail of the facility at any one of the vaccination centres in the UAE. - Ahmed Morsy, Journalist, Sharjah

I took the first shot of China’s Sinopharm vaccine against Covid-19 in Thumbay Hospital in Ajman recently. I didn’t suffer from any side-effects after taking the jab except for localised pain, which is usual. I strongly recommend others to join the vaccination drive. - Dr Mohammad Faisal Parvez, COO, Thumbay Hospital, Ajman

I miss my daughters who are living in the US. The Covid-19 vaccine gives me hope that I can travel and get to see them often. The vaccine is the best available protection against the coronavirus and I see no reason why every resident in the UAE should not take it. - Doug Cutchins, administrator, New York University, Abu Dhabi

The jab offers the obvious benefit of being safeguarded against Covid-19. This is my way of contributing to a safer workplace in Abu Dhabi. As borders continue to open up, we hope that through increased vaccination rates, people will feel more confident travelling. - Tony Douglas, CEO, Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi

We’re frontline workers who put our lives at risk. If everyone takes the vaccine, we will soon develop herd immunity and it will relieve the pressure on the UAE’s healthcare system. The Rulers of the country are leading by example, as they’re the first to take the jab and make all of us feel safe and secure. - Mary Ann, nurse, Dubai

I took the initiative and courage to take the Covid-19 vaccine in line with UAE Government’s campaign to vaccinate its citizens and residents. Being vaccinated means not only protecting myself but protecting my loved ones and community members against the contagion. - Minerva Lacerna-Maer, architect, Dubai

I took the vaccine to keep myself, my family and the community members safe and secure. The UAE Government’s vaccination drive will help the country’s economy bounce back. The inoculation offers renewed hope instead of lockdown restrictions, which disrupt businesses and hurt the economy. - Albert Abe, engineer, Dubai

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Photo: Shihab
Photo: Shihab

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