UAE: Over 1,800 kids get Covid vaccine at pop-up centre

Children aged 12 and above, including university students, were given the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

More than 1,800 students were administered the Covid-19 vaccine doses during a pop-up vaccination campaign held in Abu Dhabi’s Yas Mall.

The five-day drive starting August 3, held ahead of the start of the new academic year, was a joint effort of the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek), Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, Mubadala Health and Yas Mall.

Children aged 12 and above, including university students, were given the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.

Amer Al Hammadi, Adek undersecretary, underlined the drive was organised to ensure the health and safety of the school community.

“As we draw closer to the new academic year, we remain committed to enabling our students’ safe return to in-classroom learning,” he said. “To further support the national vaccination campaign, we have collaborated with our partners to introduce a temporary pop-up vaccination centre at Yas Mall, providing a facility for parents of students aged 12 and above to have their children vaccinated ahead of their return to school.”

Overall, 1,870 vaccine doses were administered in five days, with 960 females and 910 males getting jabbed. There were 434 Emirati students and 1,436 expats.

“While vaccination is a mandatory requirement to return to school for students aged 16 and above, it is optional for students aged 12-15,” Al Hammadi said. At the pop-up centre, 1,289 students were aged 12 to 16 and 581 were 16 and above.

Hasan Jasem Al Nowais, chief executive officer, Mubadala Health, noted there will be another drive held to administer the second dose.

“Our collaboration with Adek in availing a vaccination centre at Yas Mall is based on the importance of vaccinating students to enable a safe return to school for everyone, and we look forward to furthering this collaboration by completing the administration of the second dose to students ahead of the next academic year,” he said.

The five-day drive to administer the second dose is scheduled to start from August 24.

Saoud Khoory, chief retail officer, Aldar Investment, added: “The collaboration with partners at the pop-up vaccination centre is indicative of the shared vision among all Abu Dhabi organisations that have shown support for the national vaccination campaign and the safe return to normality.”

Vaccination is mandatory for students aged 16 and above choosing to return to face-to-face in-school learning. Also, from August 20, entry to public and private schools, nurseries and universities will be restricted to only vaccinated individuals. However, the decision does not apply to unvaccinated individuals with vaccination exemption received through the approved process and registered on Al Hosn app, nor to those aged 15 and under.

ashwani@khaleejtimes.com

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