Dr Farida Al Hosani, the official spokesperson for the UAE Health Sector, has said that people may need to have the COVID-19 vaccine every year.
Dr Al Hosani made the comments during a virtual panel discussion organised by the Maitha Bint Ahmed Al Nahyan Foundation for Community and Cultural Initiatives (MBAF), in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre.
She noted the emergence of new COVID-19 variants and added that the need to vaccinate annually could grow as the virus continues to mutate.
Dr Al Hosani stated this would be similar to the yearly administration of flu vaccinations.
She also said COVID-19 vaccines are being given to 16-year-olds and referred to ongoing clinical studies on three vaccines that could be administered to children in the future.
The Health Spokesperson said between 40 and 50 per cent of the people infected with the COVID-19 virus do not feel any symptoms.
Dr Al Hosani explained that "Based on this, we increased focusing on old people. The earlier the detection of virus among old people and people with pre-existing conditions, the more chance the virus can be contained."
Sheikha Maitha bint Ahmed bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Board Chairperson of the MBAF, praised the nation's leadership for containing the virus and for successfully providing safe and effective vaccines.