Khaleej Times reporter takes a stab to end the pandemic year with a smile, welcome 2021 with hope.
Today, December 14, will forever be etched in my memory as a special day, as it marks a new beginning. Today is the day I received the Covid-19 vaccine, which was launched through UAE.
China’s Sinopharm vaccine provided by the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha) is available at the rural hospital in Dubai Parks and Resorts.
I arrived at the site at 7 a.m. – two hours before the scheduled opening time – and my car was the first in a row of vehicles with residents wishing to crash into Covid-19.
During the two-hour wait, I saw people smiling with hope. This was their shot at overcoming the pandemic that caused 1.61 million lives worldwide (as of December 14; latest updates here)
A road leading to Dubai Parks and Regions Field Hospitals near Jebel Ali saw a huge line of vehicles on December 12. Photo by Saman Haziq
The whole process took about 15 minutes. The battlefield hospital was huge, but security guards stood at every point to guide us through the process:
>> The hospital opened right at 9am and I was introduced. At the gate, a security guard asked me to take out my emirate ID. I then received a token.
>> Reception asked to see my sign and Emirates ID, and he entered my details into his computer. I was glad and thanked him and his colleagues for helping us make the sting.
>> He then asked me to e-sign a form on a tab. I then got a wristband that had my personal details.
>> I then went to the clinic. A nurse checked my blood pressure, pulse, weight and height, and asked me some questions about my health condition, allergies and whether I had any illnesses.
>> I then signed a consent form that had all the relevant information in Arabic and English.
>> After this, I met the doctor who explained everything about the vaccine. She smiled at all my questions.
>> I thanked the doctor and went to a third room to get the Covid-19 vaccine from a nurse. The doctor asked me how I was feeling, and I replied, “I am so happy. It’s been a very long year, but it will end with a fresh start. She smiled and said in Arabic, ‘Alhamdulillah’, which means ‘All praise to God’.
>> “I finally got the vaccine,” I told myself as I went to a fourth room. Another nurse checked my pulse and blood pressure for the last time. I was told I need to wait five minutes and can leave if all goes well.
UAE takes care of everyone
While I was waiting, I posted a photo of myself taking the vaccine shot so my friends could see how great the UAE is. This country takes care of all its inhabitants.
Where I am from or what I make a living from, my skin color, religion … none of that matters.
Emigrants from all over the world were in the hospital and all received the sting for free. They gladly finished 2020 and welcomed 2021 with a smile.
I will get the second dose of the vaccine in 21 days and I hope to forget the word ‘coronavirus’ later.
I asked the nurse if I could remove my armband. He said yes, but I kept it. I will carefully keep it as a keepsake for the rest of my life.