UAE Covid vaccine: 5 million jabs spark hopes of herd immunity


UAE Covid vaccine: 5 million jabs spark hopes of herd immunity

14 Feb 2021

The UAE has administered more than five million Covid-19 vaccine doses with a distribution rate of 50.61 doses per 100 people, the local authorities announced on Saturday, as a dip in the number of positive cases was recorded for the fourth consecutive day.

The country, according to Our World in Data website, continues to be a global leader in rolling seven-day averages of doses offered per 100 people. Overall, the UAE is the second highest in the cumulative vaccine distribution rate.

“A total of 103,469 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine were given in the last 24 hours, to reach 5,005,264 as a total number of doses and with a rate of 50.61 doses per 100 people as vaccine distribution,” the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority tweeted.

The five-million mark is a major milestone in the authorities’ efforts towards achieving herd immunity. There are no official stats on how many people are fully vaccinated, i.e., received both the doses. According to the last available data of January 10, more than 250,000 people had taken the second dose when the authorities announced offering more than one million doses, i.e., at 25 per cent ballpark. The authorities recorded two million doses milestone on January 19, three million on January 29 and four million by February 5.

The rate of distribution of doses has climbed consistently since the launch of the drive in December last year. Considering all these parameters, it is safe to assume that more than 1.5 million of the population are fully vaccinated. The UAE plans to vaccinate half the population by March.

Despite the success of the vaccination drive, the number of new cases remaining high had been worrisome. However, Saturday marked the fourth day when a decline in positive cases was recorded: 3,539 (Wednesday), 3,525 (Thursday), 3,307 (Friday) and 2,631 (Saturday). It is too early to call it a trend as the figures have surged from this point in the past weeks. Meanwhile, there were 15 deaths and 3,589 recoveries on Saturday.

Dr Saheer Sainalabdeen, specialist respiratory medicine, Medeor Hospital, Dubai, said the government’s efforts to crack down on violators will ensure the number of new cases remain under control.

“The UAE is at the forefront in vaccinating the population. Despite these efforts, the current surge in the number of infections and deaths need to be taken seriously. It seems that the public had lowered the guards with the easing of restrictions. However, the government’s decision to act tough on lawbreakers would help in bringing the situation under control. Massive vaccination drives and stricter rules would bring the curve down,” he said.

Dr Rasha Alani, specialist family medicine, Medcare Medical Centre Khawaneej, urged residents to act responsibly till the fight isn’t over.

“The UAE increased Covid-19 tests and more centres opened recently. Our community members are one of the highly educated and health awareness is one of the best. We need to limit gatherings and avoid crowded places. We must not forget that wearing a face mask and washing hands will prevent 90 per cent of virus spread,” she noted.

Dr Sainalabdeen added that even those who are vaccinated must continue to follow safety precautions.

“Having taken the vaccine does not mean you won’t get infected. Vaccination would only reduce the severity of the disease. So, it is very important that we all follow the precautionary guidelines for some more time until everything is back to normalcy.”

Source: Khaleej Times