Covid-19: UAE warns of high risk from new strains for unvaccinated, urges for caution during Eid holiday
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Covid-19: UAE warns of high risk from new strains for unvaccinated, urges for caution during Eid holiday

Covid-19: UAE warns of high risk from new strains for unvaccinated, urges for caution during Eid holiday

Health authorities have urged those with chronic diseases and the elderly to get booster doses

The UAE has urged everyone in the country to get vaccinated, warning that the new mutant strains of Covid-19 pose a “high risk” for those who have not been inoculated.

“The variants pose a high risk for society, especially unvaccinated people. Therefore, we call upon the unvaccinated members of society to take the available vaccines,” Dr Farida Al Hosani, spokesperson for the UAE Health Sector said in a briefing on Tuesday.

“Variants are being detected by some countries, and it is notable that countries which have implemented national vaccination campaigns have considerably succeeded in controlling the pandemic. Variants affect the spread and speed of the virus, but they do not change its composition. The virus variants are continuously monitored to identify the latest developments and their impact on the efficacy of the vaccinations,” she added.

So far, the vaccination rate in the UAE has reached 87.17 per cent among the total eligible group, and 97.52 per cent among those aged over 60 – the priority group that is more susceptible to the virus and its complications.

“We recommend that eligible individuals hurry up and get the vaccine to protect themselves, families and society. And support the national efforts to achieve society immunity and obtain recovery phase,” Al Hosani said.

Studies conducted to draw up post-recovery plans have found that fully vaccinated persons and those who have received a booster dose are less susceptible to infection, complications, hospitalisation, and the need for ventilators compared to unvaccinated individuals.

“The booster dose is a means of enhancing the immunity response. When you get the booster dose, the antibodies become again capable of emerging, and their number increases in the body,” Al Hosani said. “Additionally, memory cells will increase as they are programmed to target and eliminate pathogen.”

In the UAE, health authorities are providing booster doses of the same kind of vaccine previously taken as well as the other types of vaccines according to individual choices and after a medical assessment.

“We recommend people with chronic diseases and the elderly to get booster doses,” she said.

Officials also urged the public to adhere to Covid-19 precautionary measures including wearing of masks and maintaining social distancing measures during the upcoming Eid Al Adha holiday to avoid the spread of the virus.

“Increasing number of infections in the country have been observed, especially after Eid holiday. This was due to several reasons, one of which is failure to abide by precautionary measures in place, as well as large gatherings,” Al Hosani said.

The UAE’s Ministry of Health and academic sectors have conducted over 400 scientific medical studies supporting the efforts made to control the pandemic and achieve recovery phase.

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