This week (24th – 30th April 2021), we celebrate World Immunization Week, which urges greater engagement around immunization globally to promote the importance of vaccination in bringing people together and improving health and wellbeing. This year’s theme for World Immunization Week is ‘Vaccines bring us closer’ in a drive for global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
This week we spoke to frontline ICU nurse and TrueProfile.io Member Ramon Francisco ‘Lucky’ Sonico about his experience as an overseas healthcare professional in the UAE. While healthcare professionals have been recruited from abroad to administer vaccinations as part of the UAE vaccine drive, Lucky has been on the receiving end of his peers’ inoculation work.
TrueProfile.io: Thank you for speaking with us, Lucky. Can you tell us about your experience working as a nurse in the UAE?
Lucky: I’ve been in the UAE for six years now. When I first arrived, I worked at Al Noor Hospital (Abu Dhabi). I’m now an ICU nurse with one of the long-term medical and rehab facilities here in the same city.
As a frontline nurse in the UAE, did you participate in any vaccination efforts?
While I did not administer vaccines, the UAE government advertised for volunteers to participate in vaccine trials on social media. However, I didn’t sign up for it immediately. I researched the ongoing trials, read about the first-hand experiences of those who have undergone the trial inoculation. After that, I registered and was given appointments at a facility where I received two doses of the vaccine.
How did you find working as a nurse in ICU during the pandemic?
I’m an ICU nurse, so I had first-hand experience of the effects of the pandemic. In a given week, two to three patients might sadly pass away from the coronavirus – all within a matter of minutes. When the virus first hit us, there were no protocols in place to deal with it. Myself, my colleagues and other healthcare teams did everything we could to stop the virus. We knew it was a virus, so we administered different viral medications which we thought could work. Given how bad the situation was, I wanted to participate in a vaccine trial to help find a solution in putting an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.
What precautions must healthcare staff and citizens take to keep safe from this virus?
We all have to adhere to precautionary and preventive measures. Always wear a mask, social distance, avoid crowds and stay safe.