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Emirates Offers Vaccination To Its Employees
During the last couple months, the COVID-19 vaccination process has started in several countries around the world. This is the great hope of the air transportation industry to begin short-term recovery. On Monday, Emirates has announced a vaccination program for all its employees in collaboration with the Minister of Health and Prevention of the United Arab Emirates’ government. This process began Monday morning giving priority to employees with most direct contact with the passengers: pilots, cabin crew and airport operations crews.
The Middle Eastern carrier will be using the Pfizer-BioNTech and Sinopharm vaccines for their frontline staff. Both have already been approved by the UAE’s health institutions. The vaccination process will be performed for 12 hours every day, all week long. The objective of this effort is to have as many essentials employees vaccinated and ready to work as soon as possible.
Every Emirates employee, along with every United Arab Emirates citizens, can be vaccinated in the country in the hospitals and centers designated by the government. After taking the vaccine, each employee is exempt of flying for the next 18 hours, but they will still have to follow any COVID-19 requirements as testing or self-isolation when having contact with a positive person.
This vaccination decision follows the recommendation of the IATA CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, who said, “We are not asking for aviation workers to be on top of the list, but we need governments to ensure that transportation workers are considered as essential when vaccine roll-out plans are developed.”
Emirates has been taking measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. Recent months have been especially difficult for Middle Eastern carriers as the long-haul operations have been more affected than regional flights. This vaccination program aims to restore customer confidence to return to to Dubai International Airport as one of the main connecting world’s hubs.
According to the Minister of Health and Prevention, the United Arab Emirates has already vaccinated 1.3 million citizens since its vaccination program started in December. This numbers mean the UAE is the second furthest country along in the vaccination process in terms of population percentage vaccinated, only after Israel. The government expects that at least 50% of its population will be vaccinated by March.
However, in other parts of the world the situation is quite different. In United Kingdom, with the new strain, the government has postponed the administration of the second dose of vaccines and has cancelled flights from Brazil and South Africa due to their new strains. On the other hand, the European Union is still considering whether to approve the Oxford vaccine after the recent Moderna approval. The air transport industry expects the vaccination process to advance rapidly to start growing again by summer.
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