The UAE, due to the directives of its leadership, is constantly monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic both locally and internationally.
Dr. Noura Al Ghaithi, Spokesperson for the UAE Health Sector, noted,
"The UAE is addressing this increase in cases with advanced medical preventive systems. All national medical teams are fully prepared for all possible scenarios, by raising the community’s awareness, implementing preventive measures, and regularly testing and providing vaccines."
She also stressed the emergence of the new variant has led many countries to take extra precautions. Under this framework, relevant health authorities in the UAE have stressed the importance of vaccine booster shots to strengthen acquired community immunity.
"These national efforts are continuing the series of proactive steps taken by the country since the onset of the pandemic, and all federal and local sectors have performed their proactive role in implementing procedures and strategies in record time across all areas in terms of early response, monitoring, treatment, follow-up, clinical trials and scientific development,"
She also pointed out that the health sector is continuing its efforts to achieve collective immunity by making vaccines available to everyone, with 100 percent of the population having received the first dose of the vaccine, and 91.80 percent are fully vaccinated.
Dr. Al Ghaithi then highlighted the significant and comprehensive efforts of the Ministry of Health and Prevention. The country yesterday authorised the emergency use of the new Sinopharm protein-based vaccine as a booster.
The Sinopharm protein-based vaccine uses protein from the spinal cord that surrounds the Covid-19 virus. It enables the body to identify the virus and fight it in case of exposure, which will help in the prevention of several variants, she further added.
She further said.
"The Sinopharm protein-based vaccine and other Sinopharm vaccines are effective in producing antibodies. However, the new protein-based vaccine could achieve more comprehensive results to ensure higher effectiveness in preventing variants,"
Dr. Al Ghaithi noted the protein-based vaccine was approved, in line with the relevant laws and regulations, after the strict monitoring and assessment of trials that took place in the UAE.
The vaccine will be offered as a booster shot to those who received the Sinopharm vaccine from the start of 2022, she stated, stressing reports highlighting the fact the UAE leads other countries in terms of vaccination rate, with over 22.5 million doses being provided so far.
"The new Sinopharm protein-based vaccine may be given to people over the age of 18 as a booster shot six months after receiving the Sinopharm vaccine, and it has been shown to provide a new level of immunity against SARS-CoV-2 variants,"
"Pregnant women, nursing mothers and those planning pregnancy in six months are exempted from the aforementioned vaccine and may receive other types of authorised vaccines. People allergic to the vaccine’s contents are also exempted,"
She explained that the new protein-based vaccine’s side effects are similar to other vaccines’ side effects, including headache, pain in the vaccinated area and exhaustion with possible fever.
She stressed that booster shots are among the critical factors that help protect the health and safety of the community, as they have a crucial role in boosting collective immunity.
Dr. Al Ghaithi highlighted the fact that the infections have risen at the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021 after the holiday season and the return to school, after which coronavirus cases in January 2021 reached 3,090, and 3,140 in February 202.
Hazza Al Mansouri, Official Spokesman for the Education Sector, presented the updated information related to the Ministry of Education’s preventive measures.
He highlighted the readiness of the educational sector to address any emergencies after thorough monitoring of the crisis.
He said that the country is constantly monitoring the pandemic and its development, most notably in the current period, to facilitate the safe return to academics and ensure public health and safety of students, teachers and educational staff.
He also noted that education in the UAE will be shifted to a remote learning system in the first two weeks of the second term, starting from 3rd January 2022. He explained that this applies to schools, universities and training centres on the country level, while specialisations relying on practical activities, laboratories, clinical exercise in universities and training centres will be subject to hybrid learning systems.
He stressed that the ministry had adopted several controls to operate the educational process in the upcoming period. All students are required to provide negative PCR tests results (taken within 96 hours) upon resumption of academics. He added that the Green Pass System will be applicable to the entry of parents into educational facilities.
He said that these standards might be subject to change according to the requirements communicated by the health authorities and in coordination with the emergency and crisis teams in each emirate. School administrations will contact parents on the learning system and health situation.
News Source: Emirates News Agency