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Opinion and Editorial

KT edit: Promoting good health

Filed on September 8, 2020

Vaccine hesitancy is a serious issue worldwide despite the advances we have made in science and medicine. People in more than 90 per cent of countries either delay or refuse to have vaccines for various diseases. Availability is not an issue in most cases; mistrust is. Misinformation on social media and fake news are often to blame for this worrisome trend. Public health awareness campaigns, therefore, are crucial for building trust, and governments can arguably do a better job than individuals or private firms. The UAE approved a country-wide policy on immunisation on Monday which will launch a drive to promote vaccination as part of a national health campaign.

The National Policy on Vaccinations will promote collective solidarity against diseases that can be controlled or cured through modern science. The Emirates has always been ahead of the curve on this front. Right from vaccinations of children to making health cards mandatory at the time of school admissions, the government has built a system that ensures the best of public health. Besides, there are local policies that direct restaurants to publish calorie counts, and encourage people to stay active through month-long fitness programmes. The UAE has given public health the importance it deserves. As hopes for a Covid-19 vaccine are becoming real with various drugs entering clinical trials, such a campaign would raise awareness and build a more robust health sector.

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