Two thirds of Dubai residents have received both Covid-19 vaccine doses

Dubai Health Authority concerned about the 17 per cent of the population who have not had a dose yet

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Two thirds of eligible Dubai residents have now received both doses of a coronavirus vaccine.

Dr Alawi Alsheikh Ali, deputy director general of the Dubai Health Authority, said 83 per cent of the eligible population received  a first dose and 64 per cent have had the second.

He repeated the fact that people who have not received a vaccine were more likely to suffer severe Covid-19 symptoms.

New figures from the authority showed that 90 per cent of all Covid-19 patients admitted to intensive care units in Dubai hospitals were unvaccinated.

Eight out of 10 people who tested positive for Covid-19 were unvaccinated.

Six months on from the beginning of a widespread vaccination campaign in Dubai, 2.3 million people have received a shot.

But Dr Ali said nearly 20 per cent of those most vulnerable to serious illness have not yet been vaccinated.

“This is an important message to everyone,” he said.

“We need to reduce the number of infections among all target groups.

“Our ambition now is to vaccinate 100 per cent of the target groups.”

Research by the authority in collaboration with the Mohammed bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences and Smart Dubai data supported the efficacy of vaccines, with results similar to international studies.

The "eligible population" means everyone over the age of 16. It excludes people who cannot take the vaccine for medical reasons.

Dr Srinivasa Rao Polumuru, an internal medicine specialist at NMC Speciality Hospital, Al Nahda Dubai, said fewer than 5 per cent of vaccinated patients who contract the virus require specialist care.

“The survey and DHA data are what we would expect to see as we know all of the vaccines in use here have a high efficacy level,” he said.

“We know from our data the vaccines reduce hospitalisation by 93 per cent, so it is similar.

“They are even more effective in reducing the severity of the virus, by about 96 per cent.

“We are hardly ever seeing vaccinated people being admitted to intensive care.

“In patients who have received both doses, if they have Covid their symptoms are very mild, usually just a light cold or cough.

“Generally only patients with multiple allergies are asking if they are suitable for a vaccine, all other patients we see are asking for a jab.”

On Sunday, the UAE reported 1,969 new cases of Covid-19, after a further 217,849 tests.

It brings the total number of infections since the pandemic began in January 2020 to 597,986 with 19,026  active cases in the UAE.

The death toll climbed to 1,726 in the Emirates on Sunday, after two more fatalities were reported.

Since the national vaccination programme began, 13,785,663 doses have been administered, according to government figures.

In March, the Dubai Health Authority expanded the age limits for vaccination to 16 years and above for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 18 and above for the Oxford-AstraZeneca injection.

Residents can book a vaccination appointment through the authority's app or DHA Contact Centre, which can be reached on 800 342.