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UAE Covid vaccine: 1 million doses given; more queue up

Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhabi
ashwani@khaleejtimes.com Filed on January 10, 2021

Vaccine seekers queue up inside Bareen International Hospital, Abu Dhabi

The temporary tent set up outside the hospital to accommodate demand

The rate of vaccine distribution is now 10.32 doses per 100 people, which is just second behind Israel globally.

The UAE has administered more than a million doses of the Covid-19 vaccination as on Saturday, the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) announced.

As many as 78,793 doses were provided during the past 24 hours, thus bringing the total to 1,020,349. The rate of vaccine distribution is now 10.32 doses per 100 people, which is just second behind Israel globally.

Since December, health authorities have undertaken a free-of-cost nationwide vaccination campaign with the active participation of public and private hospitals and medical centres. The 1-million milestone is a major step towards realising the UAE’s goal to vaccinate 50 per cent of the country’s population by the end of March.

In the past three days alone, more than 194,000 doses were provided free of cost as the general public continues to come out in numbers to take the jab.

Dr Osama Ahmed El Gharib, medical director, Burjeel Specialty Hospital Sharjah, said that one million doses in such a short time is a remarkable feat and a testament to the efficiency of the UAE’s healthcare system.

“The UAE government and health authorities have put in a commendable effort in ensuring an effective vaccination programme. The relentless and persevering approach of the leadership deserves all appreciation. Scientific planning and execution have been the pillar in the nation’s fight against the pandemic. The government’s decision to facilitate the Covid-19 vaccine through public and private healthcare facilities has made the jab accessible and available en masse. We are witnessing massive participation in the vaccination programme. This underlies the trust of the people in the UAE’s healthcare ecosystem.”

Also read: UAE Covid vaccine: 2 Rulers among top leaders to get the jab

The response from the general public is such that Bareen International Hospital in MBZ City, Abu Dhabi, has set up a temporary tent outside to accommodate the demand. The private hospital started the vaccination drive from December 13.

Dr Ramzi Alshaiba, medical director and specialist - general surgery, said: “We would like to thank the support of the UAE government and the guidance of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi for their wonderful efforts in the fight against Covid-19, with a highlight on the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination programme. When we started the vaccination campaign in Bareen, we were only administering 100-200 patients on average. Yesterday, on January 9, we were able to record more than 1,200 Covid-19 vaccines in a single day. Due to the massive turnout, we decided to set up a temporary tent outside the hospital to accommodate all patients who are lining up for the vaccine programme. The tent provides the whole process — from registration to vital checks to doctor consultation to vaccine administration. We are very happy with the general public’s response and support to achieve herd immunity,” Dr Alshaiba said.

While the vaccination programme is progressing smoothly, Dr El Gharib also warned people against letting their guard down. “People must continue wearing face masks, continue social distancing and adhere to all precautionary measures strictly.”

On Sunday, 2,876 new cases and six deaths were reported in the country. While the total number of cases is 230,578, the death toll has hit 708.

author

Ashwani Kumar

I am a newspaperman from the emirate of Abu Dhabi. A journalist at heart. I get my stories from the streets. A south Indian born in the Hindi heartland, I easily connect with people from different nationalities and cultures. I am calm like a monk, sensitive and very patient reporter. On the ground, I cover a range of topics related to community, health, embassy, tourism, transport, business and sports. I will go out on a leg to do what’s right and stand by what I believe in.





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