UAE launches initiative urging parents to get children vaccinated against COVID-19

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An initiative has been launched in the United Arab Emirates aimed to encourage parents to ensure children over the age of three are vaccinated against COVID-19.

Earlier this month, the country’s National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) announced that the Chinese Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine is now available for children ages three to 17.

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The Maitha bint Ahmed Al Nahyan Foundation for Community and Cultural Initiatives have now launched the ‘Our Children Are Our Responsibility’ initiative, in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Public Health center, to encourage parents to get their children vaccinated against the disease.

Sheikha Maitha bint Ahmed bin Mubarak al-Nahyan, chairperson of the board of trustees of the foundation, said vaccinating children is a “social necessity”, to support the efforts of relevant authorities that provide the entire community with vaccines, state news agency WAM reported Wednesday.

The UAE’s leadership is fully supporting the health sector in achieving herd immunity by providing vaccines to all segments of the community and all age groups, including children, she added.

In June, the UAE launched a clinical trial administering China’s Sinopharm vaccine to children aged three to 17.

The trial on 900 adolescents, including members of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family, showed almost all children who received two doses of the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine generated antibodies against the deadly virus

Sheikha Maitha highlighted the support of Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court, and the participation of his children and nieces in the trials.

The results of the trials, announced earlier this month, found that 96.6 percent of children vaccinated with Sinopharm generated a good level of antibodies, while only a minor number of youngsters who received the dose experienced side effects from the vaccine.

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These minor symptoms were similar to those experienced with other childhood inoculations such as polio vaccines, NCEMA said.

As of yet, over 83 percent of the population in the UAE has received at least one vaccine dose and around 73 percent have been fully inoculated against COVID-19.

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