Covid-19: UAE makes steady progress in jab drive

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Dubai - After a concerned start to the week with a blip in numbers on Sunday (951 doses) and Monday (3,451), the UAE nationwide vaccination campaign picked up steam.


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Sat 27 Feb 2021, 9:34 PM

Even as the vaccine rollout has slowed down in several major countries, the UAE has managed to administer more than 6 million doses by Saturday and emerged as the top nation in daily distribution rate.

After a concerned start to the week with a blip in numbers on Sunday (951 doses) and Monday (3,451), the UAE nationwide vaccination campaign picked up steam. Tuesday recorded 110,471 doses, Wednesday 93,199 doses, Thursday 84,573 doses, Friday 87,263 doses and Saturday saw a total of 81,790 vaccinations.

Overall, the UAE has offered 6,015,089 doses at a distribution rate of 60.82 doses per 100 people, the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority announced on Saturday.

According to Friday’s statistics at Our World in Data, the UAE, with a daily distribution rate of 0.88 per 100 people edged past countries like the US (0.66) and Israel (0.39). Amid regular variations and new countries registering presence in the top 10 list, the UAE, along with Israel, has remained the only constant feature in the top 3.

Earlier this month, the local authorities declared that elderly, people of determination and those with chronic diseases will be given priority. Such measures have been necessitated because of the rise in number of deaths because of the infection.

On Saturday, 3,434 new cases and 15 deaths were reported.

Doctors said prioritising the vulnerable category amid rising numbers of deaths was the right decision.

“The recent rise in the number of cases and deaths has caused some worries. But the government had taken an apt decision to tackle the challenge. The direction of the government to vaccinate elderly and people belonging to the high-risk population has come at the right time. With this the government had clearly indicated that its priority is to save lives and reduce fatality,” said Dr Gunjan Mahajan, specialist clinical pathologist, Burjeel Hospital for Advanced Surgery, Dubai.

The restrictions imposed on provision of the first dose has affected the distribution rate. The UAE’s campaign blazed to a 5-million mark in just over a month on February 13 after 1 million-mark was hit on January 10. However, the next milestone of 6 million doses was recorded after two weeks on Saturday.

But Dr MahajanGunjan noted that protecting the senior citizens against the infection is the best practice to follow at the moment. “Though this has slackened the pace of the vaccination, the government had made an ideal decision to counter the challenge.”

Dr Rehab Farahat, general practitioner, Bareen International Hospital in Abu Dhabi, noted the campaign as of now is rightly focused on the most vulnerable groups but community members were anxious to know when they could take the jab.

“On a daily basis, we have been receiving a huge volume of inquiries from the general public on when the first dose will become available again for those who were not yet able to get the jabs. Amidst this, the UAE continues to be one of the leading countries worldwide for vaccine distribution and this reflects the dedicated efforts and commitment of both the UAE leadership and the general public to achieve herd immunity,” Dr Farahat said.

Doctors have assured the public that the entire population of the country will be vaccinated.

“The leadership has said that all eligible people would receive the vaccine before the end of the year. But it seems that all the people in the UAE will be vaccinated much before that,” Dr MahajanGunjan added.

She pointed out that people must continue to take precautions even as the threat of a second wave is seen across the world with wide spread of the new variants of the virus.


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