More than 40 per cent of the UAE’s population has received at least one shot of the coronavirus vaccine, health authorities said on Tuesday.
The Emirates has a target of inoculating 50 per cent of its people by the end of the first quarter.
Health authorities also said that nearly 48.6 per cent of the elderly have received the vaccine.
As of February 16, more than 5.19 million doses have been administered and the rate of doses per 100 people is 52.56, Dr Farida Al Hosani, spokeswoman for the health sector, said at the weekly Covid-19 briefing.
People who become infected with coronavirus after taking their first vaccine should still take the second dose after their recovery, she said.
Dr Al Hosani said the second injection was advised for those who had mild symptoms or remained asymptomatic.
Patients who get sick with severe illness and need hospital treatment should consult a doctor before taking their second dose.
“They should visit a doctor after making a full recovery and get an antibody test done and proceed ahead with the vaccine on a doctor’s recommendation,” she said.
Dr Al Hosani said Sinopharm, Pfizer-BionTech, AstraZeneca and Sputnik vaccines work differently, but all trigger the body’s immune system to fight the virus.
Most have also been found to be effective against the variant strains of coronavirus, but nobody knows for how long the immunity will last, Dr Al Hosani said.
“Antibodies will become less over time but the immune system has memory cells and these cells will remember the components of the vaccine if they contract the virus after a long time,” she said.
The Sinopharm vaccine works using dead viral particles to expose the body's immune system to the virus without risking a reaction. It stimulates the immune system and forms antibodies.
Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine works with RNA technology. This means that part of the gene code is injected into the body, prompting it to start producing s-protein on the shell of the virus that triggers immune response.
Both AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccines are based on a viral vector. It is placed on another virus called adenovirus, which is modified and molecules of the emerging coronavirus are added to it. The virus is considered weak but sufficient to produce antibodies.
The country has also carried out more than 28 million tests to detect infections.