Over 65 percent of those eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the United Arab Emirates have been fully immunized, the government announced on Wednesday.
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With a population of nearly 10 million, the UAE has administered a total of 9.5 million vaccine doses as of April 20 with over 5 million people having received their first dose and nearly 4 million received a second dose. Vaccines are currently available to residents and nationals over the age of 16.
According to the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA), close to 75 percent of the elderly above the age of 60 have been vaccinated against the virus.
The authority also said, “the effectiveness of the vaccine ranged from very good to excellent,” adding, a “very low” percentage of those who received the second dose have tested positive.
Meanwhile, infected individuals experienced “very mild” symptoms and “only a small percentage” was admitted to the hospital for treatment.
Health authorities are expected to share results of an ongoing study “once completed,” the NCEMA added in its announcement.
Restricting unvaccinated individuals
The government also announced that “strict measures are being considered to restrict the movement of unvaccinated individuals” in an effort to “ensure the health and safety of everyone.”
Those restrictions could include banning entry to some places and denying access to services, according to the NCEMA.
“Delaying or refraining from taking the vaccine will pose a threat to the safety of society and put all groups, especially those most vulnerable to infection, as it poses a major challenge to the national efforts to recover,” the NCEMA said in a tweet.
#NCEMA: Delaying or refraining from taking the vaccine will pose a threat to the safety of society and put all groups, especially those most vulnerable to infection, as it poses a major challenge to the national efforts to recover.#TogetherWeRecover— NCEMA UAE (@NCEMAUAE) April 20, 2021
The authority also urged those with medical conditions to seek medical advice to determine if they should receive the vaccine.
Meanwhile, people who have been vaccinated are still required to adhere to precautionary measures such as social distancing, avoiding gatherings and wearing masks when in public or crowded places, especially during the holy month of Ramadan.
As of April 20, the UAE has reported 500,860 positive cases, 483,180 recoveries and 1,559 deaths.