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Covid vaccine hopes rise, but residents should play safe

Khaleej Times logo Khaleej Times 2 days ago Nandini Sircar
a person wearing a mask: Covid vaccine hopes rise, but residents should play safe © Provided by Khaleej Times Covid vaccine hopes rise, but residents should play safe

Even as doctors in the UAE pin hopes on two Covid-19 vaccines being trialled in the country, they have cautioned residents against relying solely on them. It will take time for the masses to get immunised if and when a vaccine is approved, they said, urging residents to not lower their guards.

Dr Dirar Abdallah, consultant internal medicine and chair of medicine, Prime Hospital, Dubai, explained: "Even when the vaccine does come, I don't think these (safety precautionary) instructions (against the spread of Covid-19) will change for a long time. We will have to continue to follow those until most of the community is immunised by the vaccine. So up until that time - which will easily be a year or two from now - we should be mindful of the fact that the virus is around us."

This came as the UAE recorded its highest ever single day cases on Saturday - 1,538. The country has been reporting 1,000-plus cases since October 6.

Dr Abdallah added: "We should not rely on vaccine development alone. We should rely on our awareness (on) how to live with Covid-19 by following the related instructions with regards to the use of masks, social distancing and avoiding gatherings. A lot is being said about the vaccine, but it will not be available before the first quarter of 2021 ..."

Approval and manufacture on a mass scale will taken even longer, he added.

Dr Jacob Cherian, specialist internal medicine, Medcare Medical Centre Marina, said residents need to continue being responsible. "The final solution is the vaccine, but there is nothing else that we can count on at the moment.

"People are not (being) as careful as they should be. They don't follow social distancing properly and masks are also not worn correctly. Besides, people are meeting up for social gatherings," the doctor rued.

Last month, the UAE granted approval for the emergency use of the Covid-19 vaccine that is being trialled here. The vaccine, developed by China's Sinopharm, is being administered to frontline heroes. Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of

Culture and Youth, the UAE's Minister of Culture and Youth Development, received the jab on Saturday - a day after Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, got it.

Additionally, trials for the Russian adenovirus-based vaccine called Sputnik V are set to commence in the country.

Dr Faisal Hamza Dalvi, specialist - internal medicine, Burjeel Day Surgery Centre, Reem Island, Abu Dhabi, said he would definitely take the vaccine. "We are fortunate that the government is carrying out Phase 3 trials here in UAE for the Chinese and the Russian (Sputnik V) vaccines. So far, we are hearing good reports regarding the vaccine from our patients. None of them have reported any adverse reaction."

nandini@khaleejtimes.com 

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