Covid-19: How UAE vaccinated all eligible residents in a year

The country had approved its first coronavirus jab for mass use on December 9 last year



by

Sahim Salim

Published: Wed 8 Dec 2021, 3:20 PM

It was precisely one year ago that the UAE began its robust Covid vaccination drive that has seen all eligible residents receive at least one dose. As on December 7, close to 91 per cent of the country’s residents are fully vaccinated.

In one year, the country has pulled out all the stops to ensure that its residents are protected from the coronavirus. Despite being the most vaccinated country in the world, the UAE still requires its residents to remain masked and maintain social distancing – showcasing a model that sees Covid safety measures being implemented along with vaccination.

Here are the key milestones in the UAE’s vaccination drive.

December 9, 2020: Covid vaccine approved for mass use

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention, Mohap, approved the Sinopharm vaccine for mass use.

Trials conducted in the UAE showed high efficacy rates in fighting the infection. No serious safety concerns were spotted.

December 10, 2020: Residents line up to get jabs

KT file photo for illustrative purposes
KT file photo for illustrative purposes

Several residents queued up at hospitals on day one after the vaccines became available.

They were all praise for the UAE leadership for facilitating the jabs for free.

December 14, 2020: KT journalist gets new lease of life after jab

KT file photo
KT file photo

A Khaleej Times journalist took the jab within a week after it became available.

He said he took the vaccine to end the pandemic year with a smile, and welcome 2021 with hope.

December 23, 2020: Pfizer vaccine is approved for mass use

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Within weeks after approving the Sinopharm vaccine, the country introduced Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid -19 vaccine for mass use as well.

December 24: The first five Dubai residents to get Pfizer jabs

Photo: Dubai Media Office
Photo: Dubai Media Office

A day after Pfizer vaccine was approved for mass use, five Dubai residents became the first few to receive it.

Senior Emirati citizen Ali Salem Ali Alaiddi; Adel Hassan Shukralla of Dubai Police; DHA nurse Asha Susan Philip; Dubai Ambulance worker Shamma Saif Rashid Alalili; and RTA driver Asif Khan Fazle Subhan got their jab on day one.

May 19, 2021: Booster vaccine doses approved

KT file photo
KT file photo

Booster shots are typically given to those who have less immunity against diseases and people with chronic illnesses.

Currently, in the UAE, every fully vaccinated resident is eligible to get a booster shot six months after the second dose.

July 2021: UAE becomes most vaccinated country on earth

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Months after the UAE launched its Covid vaccination campaign, it became the most vaccinated country in the world – a feat that it still maintains.

The country’s residents raced to get the vaccine, as leaders and officials urged them on.

August 3, 2021: Sinopharm vaccine is approved for children

Photo: Abu Dhabi Media Office
Photo: Abu Dhabi Media Office

After conducting the region’s first vaccine trials for children, the UAE approved Sinopharm jabs for children aged 3-17.

Prior to this, only teenagers aged over 16 could receive the jabs.

August 20, 2021: Abu Dhabi restricts entry to most public places to vaccinated residents only

KT Photo: Ryan Lim
KT Photo: Ryan Lim

Once Abu Dhabi activated the Green Pass protocol, authorities observed a surge in the number of people taking vaccines and booster shots.

October 21, 2021: Pfizer approved for kids aged 5 and over

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

This came after authorities said that the results of clinical studies indicated that the vaccine is “safe” and has actually given a “strong” immune response to children between the age of 5 and 11 years.

November 28, 2021: Booster made available to all

KT file photo
KT file photo

As new and more infectious strains of Covid-19 spread around the world, the UAE announced booster shots of Pfizer-BioNTech and Sputnik vaccines for all residents aged 18 and over. The booster is given to fully vaccinated individuals six months after the second dose.

November 2021: All eligible residents get Covid jab

File photo
File photo

The UAE’s frontline workers tackled everything from vaccine hesitancy to rumours and egged residents on to get the jab. This helped the country administer one dose to all eligible residents.

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