Covid vaccine in UAE will help us travel worry-free, say residents

Dubai, Abu Dhabi - Residents upbeat as they take the jab.

By Saman Haziq and Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Tue 15 Dec 2020, 9:42 PM

Last updated: Wed 16 Dec 2020, 6:19 AM

Several residents who took the Covid-19 vaccine shot in the emirates said it would ease travel procedures for them as their work required them to commute across the emirate and even fly internationally.

Some others said they were looking forward to travel back to their home countries to see their loved ones and the vaccine provided them an extra layer of safety and ease in procedures as they wouldn’t have to take a Covid test to travel now.

Srini G, 45, an Indian expat and Dubai resident who took the shot along with his wife, said they felt blessed to be in country like the UAE that has not only given them immense protection during the pandemic but is also offering them complete safety by offering the Covid vaccine free of cost.

Calling the vaccine a boon, he said: “My parents are old and back in India. I have been quite worried about them as it is not safe to travel at this time. However, after taking the vaccine jab, I am at peace that in case there is a requirement for me to go to see them, then I can go without any problem. Some of my colleagues and friends have already taken two doses of the jab and did not have any side-effects, so we thought why not take the plunge.”

Kamran Shabir, 34, a Pakistani expat who took the jab on Sunday, said he postponed his flight to his home country until January 6 as he had to take his second dose of the vaccine shot in the first week of January.

“ I have full faith in the UAE authorities which is why I rushed to get my shot. I had sent my family back to Pakistan due to Covid some months back, otherwise I would have got all of them to take the vaccine. I also intended to travel to mark the new year with my family back in Pakistan but I have postponed our celebrations until I get my second shot of the vaccine as that is mandatory to keep me safe from the virus. I am looking forward to travel stress-free after taking my second dose of the Covid vaccine in January 2021,” said Kamran, who said his job requires him to travel to different places, which is why the vaccine would be helpful.

He pointed out that he felt encouraged about taking the dose since the vaccine showed 86 per cent effectiveness and was taken by not only the healthcare heroes but also by the UAE rulers.

“This vaccine is a tried and tested medicine then why do we live in the fear of the virus? We are lucky that the vaccine that can save life is being given free here in the UAE. In Dubai, I did not eve need any prior appointment. When we are given so many facilities, then why not avail of them and thank the government for helping us stay safe?,” he added.

'Defeat pandemic'

Gautham Krishna Kumar, 19, an Abu Dhabi-based resident, stressed that the jab will help safeguard the community.

“I urge all youngsters to take part in the national vaccination programme. The vaccine is widely available now. We should all act responsibly and take the jab to defeat the pandemic.”

Nadir Valappil, 26, another Abu Dhabi resident, dubbed getting the jab as a dream come true moment. “After coming back from my native country, I was following up every update with regards to the UAE’s vaccination programme. Getting the Covid-19 vaccine is a dream realised. The UAE is such a great country and I salute the vision of the leaders.”

Dr Iajaz Ahmed, Medical Director, NMC Specialty Hospital, Al Ain, urged the community members to turn up in huge numbers to take the jab.

“We have all our precautionary and safety measures in place as per the protocols of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi. We thank the leadership of the country for taking a lead role in launching a vaccine and providing the same to the public free of cost.”,


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