PARIS (AFP) – More than 100 million Covid-19 vaccines have been given around the world, an AFP tally from official sources found Tuesday (Feb 2).
But none of the world’s 29 poorest countries has formally started mass vaccination drives, while the richest nations have given more than two-thirds of jabs administered. Israel leads the race by far, with 37 per cent of its population having received at least one dose, while more than a fifth have already got their second.
Yet more than a third of humanity (35 per cent) live in countries where vaccination has yet to begin. After Israel, the countries that have given the most doses are in North America, Europe and the Persian Gulf.
Britain forging ahead
The UK heads this group in per capita terms with shots given to 13.7 per cent of its people, ahead of the US (32.2 million shots to 7.9 per cent). The European Union has been clashing bitterly with AstraZeneca over access to supplies of its vaccine, with only 12.7 million shots given to 2.3 per cent of its people.
China, by contrast, has given 24 million shots, while India – where many of the vaccines are made – has given only four million to a tiny percentage of its vast population. The EU’s best performing countries are tiny Malta (5.4 per cent), Denmark (3.2 per cent) and Poland (3.1 per cent).
The UK’s nearest competitor in Europe is Serbia, which is also outside the bloc. It has given the Chinese Sinopharm and Russia’s Sputnik V jabs to 6.2 per cent of its population.
Poor left to wait
With the World Health Organisation lamenting that “rich countries are rolling out vaccines while least-developed countries watch and wait,” 101,317,005 jabs had been given in 77 mostly wealthy countries and territories, AFP’s count found.
Some rich countries, however, have yet to start vaccinating, including Japan, South Korea and Australia, which have managed to contain the pandemic with strict border controls and quarantines.
The first deliveries of the WHO’s Covax scheme to share shots more fairly are due begin this month. So far only Guinea has benefited, with only a few dozen given in a pilot trial.
There are currently seven vaccines circulating around the world, all designed to be given in two doses. The vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech (US-German) and Moderna (US) are dominant in North America, Europe, Israel and the Gulf. Britain’s AstraZeneca-Oxford is used in much of the UK and India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Morocco, and is soon to be rolled out in Europe.
India also uses a homegrown vaccine produced by Bharat Biotech. Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine has been rolled out in Russia, Argentina, Algeria, Belarus and Serbia. China’s Sinopharm jabs are being administered in China, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Serbia the Seychelles and Jordan, while Indonesia and Turkey are using China’s Sinovac vaccine.
China’s Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines and Russia’s Sputnik V jab have yet to be fully approved by either Beijing or Moscow’s health authorities.
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