Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee has urged parents, academic and administrative staff in all schools to receive a booster dose, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk
Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee, in coordination with Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge, has approved remote learning for the first two weeks of the new school term, for all students at both public and private schools in the emirate, including training institutes, colleges and universities to further protect health and safety of education community.
During these two weeks, ongoing testing campaigns will increase for education sector personnel and the situation will continue to be monitored to update protocols for the return to in-school learning.
The decision is taken as a precautionary measure to limit the spread of COVID-19 and maintain low infection rates in the emirate. The Committee urges parents, academic and administrative staff in all schools to receive a booster dose, to further protect themselves against the virus and help develop comprehensive protection for the wider community, which will guarantee a safe return to schools.
The committee has also stressed the importance of adhering to all preventive and precautionary measures to protect schooling community’s health and maintain public safety, by wearing masks that cover both nose and mouth, and practising physical distancing by keeping at least 2m apart, and regularly washing and sanitising hands.
New rules to enter Emirate
Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee has updated the procedure to enter the emirate from within the UAE by requiring green pass for vaccinated individuals and a negative PCR test result for those who are not vaccinated.
Effective Thursday, 30th December 2021, in addition to using EDE scanners to rapidly detect potential COVID-19 cases, the new entry requirements are in line with efforts to continue enhancing precautionary measures to protect public health.
To enter the emirate from within the UAE, vaccinated people will now show green status on Alhosn App and unvaccinated categories are required to present a negative PCR test result received within 96 hours.
‘UAE is fully prepared’
UAE is constantly monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic both locally and internationally, said Dr. Noura Al Ghaithi, Spokesperson for the UAE Health Sector.
During a media briefing, Dr. Al Ghaithi said the country is fully prepared for this situation, and its medical teams are braced for all possible scenarios.
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 added.
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.
“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,” she further said.
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,” she stressed.
“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 added.
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.