Covid in UAE: Doctors say most critical patients are unvaccinated

Published on July 27 2021

A 40-year-old man is fighting for his life in Dubai after he was struck with Covid-19 around three weeks ago. It is not clear which variant of Covid-19 took him down, but what was clear was that he had not taken any of the vaccines.

MB, a businessman, was gasping for air when he was rushed to a nearby hospital. He had high fever for the last four days, but he didn’t visit a doctor as he thought he would get okay by popping a couple of Panadols, but what made matters worse was his Type 1 diabetes.

Speaking to Khaleej Times after being stabilised temporarily at the hospital, MB said: “I wasn’t sure which Covid vaccine to take, so I adopted a wait-and-watch policy, which probably was the greatest mistake in my life. I had heard various reviews about different vaccines, so I delayed taking the shots even though I knew it was dangerous for me, as I would often go out and interact with different people related to work. I wouldn’t have been in such a sorry state had I been vaccinated I am told. I regret not taking the vaccination on time.” MB has been put on a mechanical ventilator because his condition has deteriorated rapidly.

Urging people to get vaccinated, the UAE doctors revealed that most Covid complications and deaths are among those who are unvaccinated.

“Take whatever Covid vaccine you can get as that will protect you from death and hospitalisation. If you will delay this in the hope of getting a more effective vaccine or to see how the vaccine reacts on others, then you are actually inviting trouble as the new strains of Covid are much stronger and easily communicable. These can get one severely ill and can also cause death,” said one of the doctors attending to MB.

Speaking from the intensive care unit (ICU) unit of Medeor Hospital, Dubai, Dr Prasanna Kumar, critical care specialist and ICU in-charge, said all the current patients in the hospital’s ICU are those who are not vaccinated.

“This is why most of them are severely affected and their recovery process is very slow and delayed compared to the vaccinated patients we have seen previously. I have noticed a significant difference in the way the virus affects those vaccinated and the unvaccinated. One of the studies held in the UAE suggests vaccination is preventing hospitalisation by 93 per cent, while the efficacy of vaccination in reducing the need for ICU is 95 per cent,” he said.

He added that the vaccination, in particular, helps the more vulnerable sections such as the elderly as it has a proven record of reducing severity of the infection in them. “A 40-year-old unvaccinated male, who was admitted at our hospital a month back with no known comorbidities, has been shifted to the ICU and requires high oxygen support. There is a possibility that this was due to the severe lung damage caused by the virus to the unvaccinated,” he said.

Encouraging people to get vaccinated, Dr he concluded: “Vaccination is the best tool we have to get over this pandemic. Not to forget hand hygiene and social distancing. Also, it is our responsibility to get vaccinated.”

Daily cases in the UAE have remained below 1,600 for the last two weeks days, thanks to the UAE’s robust vaccination campaign. Over 76 per cent of UAE residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while more than 66 per cent are fully vaccinated.