12 million doses: A new milestone in UAE's jab drive


Abu Dhabi - However, Israel continues to lead the global rankings in terms of vaccine distribution with a rate of 121.91 reported on Friday.


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Sat 22 May 2021, 9:06 PM

The UAE has crossed the 12 million Covid-19 vaccine doses milestone on Saturday and is about to edge past Israel as the top nation in the global vaccination rate.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention announced that 90,294 vaccine doses were given in the past 24 hours taking the total number to 12,034,349 at a distribution rate of 121.68 doses per 100 people.

However, Israel continues to lead the global rankings in terms of vaccine distribution with a rate of 121.91 reported on Friday. A comparative study of stats on Our World in Data website, indicates that the UAE most likely will edge past Israel to the top on Sunday.

On April 22, when the UAE had a distribution rate of 101.12, Israel was at 119.93. While the UAE has in 30 days scaled 20.56 points, Israel till Friday added just 1.98.

After a lull during the Eid holidays, the national vaccination drive in the UAE has picked up steam, especially with the approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children above the age of 12. As of now, there are four approved vaccines in the country: Sinopharm, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Sputnik V.

“The UAE is one of the few countries worldwide to have four approved vaccines for its population,” noted Dr Humaid Al Shamsi, consultant, internal medicine, oncology at Burjeel Speciality Hospital, Sharjah.

Nearly 74 per cent eligible groups and 80 per cent elderly people have been vaccinated. Asked when the UAE can achieve herd immunity, Dr Al Shamsi underlined that more than 80 per cent of the population needs to be vaccinated but still it will be a “moving target”.

“Minimum 50 per cent of the population need to be vaccinated, and ideally, the estimate for Covid-19 is that roughly 70 per cent to 85 per cent of the population will need to be vaccinated to reach the herd immunity threshold. However, this will likely be a moving target as we move into different stages of the pandemic.”

Meanwhile, Dr Karthikeyan Dakshinamoorthy, specialist internal medicine, NMC Royal Hospital, DIP, Dubai, expressed delight at the fact that the UAE is set to surpass Israel.

“It will be one of the biggest achievements and also a positive news for the country, which is effectively controlling the infection from the start of this pandemic.”

Dr Dakshinamoorthy pointed out that estimates on herd immunity were still under research but pointed out 80-90 per cent population needs to take the jab.

“The percentage of population that needs to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity ranges from 80 to 95 per cent for the known vaccine preventable diseases. So, at least 80 per cent of the total population needs to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity in Covid-19 infection. This can be done as Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is now available for anyone aged above 12.”

Meanwhile, Dr Al Shamsi stressed on the need for community members to take all precautionary measures even if they are vaccinated.

Dr Al Shamsi also pointed out: “The UAE is leading the globe in the fight against Covid-19, not only locally but also by donating vaccines to other countries in need.”


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