UAE administers six million doses of Covid-19 vaccine

Landmark figure passed on Saturday as nationwide immunisation drive gathers pace

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The UAE has administered more than six million doses of Covid-19 vaccine as part of its immunisation drive.

On Saturday, officials confirmed the figure was passed after a further 81,790 shots were given to the public during the preceding 24 hours.

About one million doses have been given to people in the past two weeks alone.

Authorities said 6,015,089 doses had been distributed, representing 60.82 shots for every 100 people in the country.

Dr Farida Al Hosani, spokeswoman for the health sector, said last week that the UAE's aim was to reach herd immunity to protect more vulnerable members of society.

"Herd immunity is considered one of the stages of indirect protection from communicable diseases and requires a large amount of the community to be immunised," she said.

"Once we achieve herd immunity ... we will have begun to curb the spread of the virus."

She assured the public that the vaccines available in the country were completely safe for use for everyone – including the elderly and people with chronic illnesses.

"We call on all to get vaccinated because it is the safest way to recovery," she said.

As of last Tuesday, 3.48m residents were administered the vaccine, which was 44.89 per cent of the target. At least 57 per cent of the country's population over 60 years old has also received a dose of the vaccine.

Authorities adopted a proactive approach to ensuring vaccinations are readily available, free of charge.

China's Sinopharm vaccine was approved for use for all members of the public in the country on December 9.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, a collaboration between US pharmaceuticals company Pfizer and the German biotech company BioNTech, was registered in Dubai two weeks later as part of a phased campaign initially focused on vulnerable groups and key workers.

Russia's Sputnik V vaccine was approved for emergency use in January.

Dubai authorised the use of the Swedish-British Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine earlier this month.