14 million milestone: UAE vaccination drive helps avert Covid-19 crisis in June

Abu Dhabi - Vaccines help in building antibodies and safeguarding a person against the infection.



by

Ashwani Kumar

Published: Wed 16 Jun 2021, 5:35 PM

Last updated: Wed 16 Jun 2021, 5:37 PM

The UAE’s National Vaccination Programme is proving to be a reliable shield against the Covid-19 pandemic, especially in the wake of deadly new variants detected around the world.

As per data available on Covid-19 caseloads so far this year and views of the medical experts, the vaccination campaign — which hit the 14 million vaccine doses milestone on Wednesday — has been able to successfully avert a potential crisis situation this month.

Two weeks after the Eid Al Fitr holidays, the first 15 days of June resulted in the most Covid-19 caseloads (31,100+) compared to the previous two months (April 1-15: 29,900+, April 16-30: 28,800+, May 1-15: 24,600+, and May 16-31: 25,900+).

However, the spike in new infections this month is much lower compared to the surge recorded at the start of the year, following the Christmas and New Year celebrations (January 1-15: 38,500+ and January 16-31: 57,200+).

Covid-19 symptoms may appear only two to 14 days after exposure to the virus, and hence the increase in cases is witnessed mainly after two weeks. This is why cases rose in the second half of January and in June.

The comparative data, however, reveals how the nationwide vaccination drive has been able to significantly reduce Covid-19 cases so far this month, and why it is important for unvaccinated people to take the free jabs and build antibodies and immunity.

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“Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the scientific and medical world has said that an effective vaccine is the only solution to survive Covid-19. Fortunately, we have been able to develop efficacious vaccines against viral infection,” said Dr Abdalkarim Nassar, specialist pulmonologist, Burjeel Specialty Hospital, Sharjah.

By January 30, the UAE offered more than 3 million doses of the vaccine at a distribution rate of more than 30 doses per 100 people. And by Wednesday, 14.06 million vaccine doses had been administered at a distribution rate of 142.24 per 100 people.

Dr Nikitha Satheesh, general practitioner, Aster Dar Al Shifa Medical Centre, Abu Dhabi, underlined that the Covid-19 case burden has dipped month-on-month as the massive nationwide campaign hit newer milestones.

“There has been a drastic reduction in the number of positive cases and deaths. The case burden has steadily dropped from the highs seen in January. The vaccine effectively protects against coronavirus, which reduces the severity of the disease, and it can prevent the complications caused by the disease. The government’s aggressive vaccination drive aims to acquire mass immunity and help eventually reduce the number of cases and control coronavirus spread.”

Dr Nassar said vaccines help in building antibodies and safeguarding a person against the infection.

“Also, vaccines empower the T-cells, which play an active role in the adaptive immune response. Vaccines help the T-cells to identify the pathogen that causes Covid-19 and kill them, keeping the person safe from infection. On the whole, vaccines have played a key role in breaking the chain of infection and bringing the caseload down.”

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Dr Nikitha added that, despite the situation being under control, people must remain cautious.

“The virus is constantly mutating, and newer strains are emerging. We must continue to take preventive measures, like social distancing and wearing masks, until the threat of the pandemic abates.”

Doctors have recommended that eligible community members, i.e., those who have completed six months after taking the second dose, can opt for a booster dose.

“A booster dose is a proactive step, which will add weight to our fight against Covid.”

ashwani@khaleejtimes.com

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

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