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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 6 March 2021

UAE administers 2 million Covid-19 vaccine doses

Country is ranked fifth in the world for availability of vaccines

The UAE has administered more than two million doses of Covid-19 vaccines as part of a nationwide campaign.

The country aims to have at least 50 per cent of the population vaccinated by the end of the first quarter of the year.

On Tuesday, health authorities said 93,846 people received a dose of the vaccine over the past 24 hours, raising the total number of doses administered to 2,065,367.

That brought the number of doses per 100 people to 20.88.

Vaccination remains the best way to beat the virus

Dr Saif Al Dhaheri

Dr Saif Al Dhaheri, spokesman for the UAE's weekly Covid-19 briefings, said the UAE was currently second worldwide for the number of vaccines administered per 100 people, after Israel.

Over the past week, the UAE was the top nation for administering vaccines, with a rate of 1.16 for every 100 people.

Dr Al Dhaheri said authorities were working to safely reopen economic activities while still preventing the spread of the virus but that vaccination "remained the best way to beat Covid-19".

"One of the most important initiatives from the UAE's recovery committee is the national vaccination programme, which is making great leaps to administer inoculations to the public," he said.

He said the UAE currently ranked fifth worldwide for the availability of vaccines, after the US, UK, China and Israel.

Dr Al Dhaheri's appeal came as the UAE reported 3,491 new cases of Covid-19 – the highest number of daily infections for the eighth consecutive day.

The infections were detected after another 163,049 tests were carried out.

The new cases raised the country's total since the pandemic began to 260,223.

Of these, 231,675 patients have recovered, after 3,311 more were cleared of the virus.

Five people died of related complications over the past 24 hours, increasing the country's toll to 756.

The number of active cases now stands at 27,792 – the highest since the outbreak.

Last week, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, encouraged people to be vaccinated as soon as possible to allow life to return to normal.

“My message to everyone is to hasten to be vaccinated to protect our health, our economy and our achievements,” he said.

He said widespread vaccination would “accelerate the full recovery of our country”.

The UAE officially registered China’s Sinopharm vaccine for nationwide use on December 9 after Phase 3 trials established 86 per cent efficacy against the coronavirus.

Two weeks later, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was introduced in Dubai.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires two doses to be taken 21 days apart, while the Sinopharm vaccine allows an extra seven days for the second dose.

Priority is currently being given to the elderly or people with chronic diseases.

Updated: January 19, 2021 06:25 PM

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