UAE: Around 2,000 employees take jab after 84-year-old chairperson leads the way

Supplied photo
Supplied photo

Dubai - The Covid-19 vaccine is a significant step in fighting the pandemic.

By Saman Haziq

Published: Thu 18 Mar 2021, 5:04 PM

Early this year, Zulekha Healthcare urged its employees to sign up for the UAE’s free Covid vaccine campaign and take the jab.

Taher Shams, managing director of the group, sent a mail to all 2,000 employees stating, “With the recent increase in number of Covid-19 cases across the globe, it is even more essential that we join the effort of ending the pandemic at the earliest. The Covid-19 vaccine is a significant step in fighting the pandemic. The vaccine is a ray of hope to avoid any further spread of the viral infection that has roiled the world economy amid an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. Just as we are shouldering various responsibilities for ourselves and our families, we also have an important responsibility towards our own life and our loved ones associated with us. We must take the vaccine at any accessible vaccination centre in the UAE at the earliest to protect ourselves, our families and our colleagues.”

The group’s 84-year-old founder and chairperson Dr Zulekha Daud, was the first to take the jab; followed by co-chairperson Zanubia Shams; and managing director Taher Shams. Subsequently from January 3 to January 9, all employees were encouraged to take the vaccination in the interest of their own and family’s safety at Zulekha Hospital Sharjah.

“The Covid-19 vaccine is a significant step in fighting the pandemic, said Dr Zulekha Daud. “The vaccine is a ray of hope to avoid any further spread of the viral infection. Over the decades, we have seen many challenges in the healthcare industry, but none this devastating. While I have taken the vaccine as a preventative measure, I also take responsibility to strengthen my immune system by regularly exercising and eating healthy.”

A vaccination drive was also conducted in Zulekha Hospital Dubai on February 5 to keep the momentum on to get the employees vaccinated. The vaccination drive was conducted on the hospital premises and then when the stocks were limited, transportation arrangements were made to take the employees to government authorised centres in batches from Dubai and Sharjah hospitals to continue being vaccinated.

Until now, a total of 1,958 employees in Zulekha Healthcare Group, have taken the vaccine. Out of this 832 employees have taken both the doses and 621 have taken their first dose and will take the second one on the due date.

“Today, 74 per cent of our employees including doctors, nurses, technicians, non-clinical support staff, pharmacy staff and housekeeping have been vaccinated and the remaining ones who have genuine exceptions will take the same in future when they are eligible. Communication messages from my desk were sent out to all employees as an important call for vaccination. A weekly track is maintained by the HR team to ensure the remaining employees also are taking the vaccines as and when eligible to ensure 100% compliance over time…There is much information available on internal and external sources on the millions of residents in UAE who are already vaccinated. It is important that we intake authentic facts from these sources and seek clarity on any doubts that may cloud our minds, further avoiding unreliable anecdotes,” Taher Shams said.

Zanubia Shams added: “We have made due arrangements and are reaching out to authorities to enable this vaccination for all employees at various locations in the region. By just taking the freely available vaccine, we can reduce risks and strain on the entire healthcare system. For over a year now, we have been stressed with the pandemic, putting in our best efforts, and now when there is hope to end the distress, we need to stand together once again.”

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