Covid-19 vaccine roll-out rates around the world

By Kelly Jane Turner Time of article published Feb 4, 2021

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IT HAS been just over a year since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus to be a public health emergency of international concern. In the time since, scientists have been able to produce a number of approved vaccines and countries have been implementing their vaccine roll-out plans.

Around the world more than 98.3 million doses in 62 countries have been administered.

South Africa received its first 1 million doses of the Covid-19 Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII) on Monday.

However, the country will still need to wait another 10-14 days until the first dose is administered as quality checks will be under way before the start of the three-phase immunisation campaign.

This will be South Africa's first phase of vaccine roll-out and will be focused on getting the country's 1.5 million health-care workers vaccinated.

Here are the countries around the world who have administered the most vaccines:

The US

Over 31.8 million people have received the Covid-19 vaccine and doses per hundred people stands at 9.7. The country is close to administering the vaccinations at a pace of a million doses a day.

A country’s vaccination rate calculates the percentage of people within the population who have received the shot.

Melissa King, a South Africa medical assistant who is working in the US on a temporary visa says she has noticed some vaccine hesitancy but the majority of people are willing to take the vaccine.

“The only way this is all going to fully work is if most people are on board with getting the vaccine and helping create that herd immunity. What I do know is that the vaccine will help minimise the symptoms and severity of getting Covid. Being vaccinated doesn’t mean I’m in the clear, I have a significantly higher chance now of fighting it off than what I did before, but I could still spread the virus if I were to get it and would need to continue taking precautions around other people,” said King.

“I’m excited that South Africa is finally getting the vaccines distributed, I just hope the government will do what’s right in helping their people. There’s hope on the horizon and I’m looking forward to what’s to come.”

President Joe Biden revealed that his American Rescue Plan will include a $1.9 trillion stimulus package which is set to provide funding for vaccinations and relief to struggling communities.

China

In China, over 24 million people have received the jab and doses per hundred people stands at 1.7.

The Chinese National Health Commission aims to vaccinate at least 60% of its population, in order to establish herd immunity.

The UK

The coronavirus vaccination programme has seen over 9.4 million people vaccinated and doses per hundred people stands at 14.1.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed on Sunday that over 80% of the over-80s population in the UK have received a vaccine shot.

Emergency room nurse at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Jessica Andrew told IOL that in the UK the majority of people were excited to get the vaccine.

“A lot of doctors I work with were not hesitant at all. But a lot of other people I work with were hesitant and put it off for a couple of weeks. Me being one of them. After a couple of weeks of putting off getting the vaccine I ended up getting it because I do believe in the effort and time spent in creating this vaccine. Unfortunately I contracted Covid two days before getting the vaccine,” she said.

England has been in lockdown for over a year and Andrew says despite this, she thinks there has been an overall positive moral in the fight against Covid-19.

"Unfortunately a lot of people have been coming into the emergency room with really bad symptoms post-vaccine. The symptoms have not been bad enough for anyone to be hospitalised. Covid is still going around and people are still falling ill with it, especially staff members. It’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel here,“ she said.

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Emergency nurse Jessica Andrew, right, with colleagues at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, England.

Israel

Israel has the highest vaccination rate in the world with 54.7 people out of one hundred having received the shot. The country has a population of 9 million and has vaccinated over 4.8 million people.

India

Over 3.7 million people in India have received the Covid-19 vaccine and doses per hundred people stands at 0.27.

The country kicked off its vaccination programme on January 16 and since then, various claims about vaccines have caused scepticism.

Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan denied claims that the vaccine could make people impotent.

‘Vaccine nationalism’

The world has surpassed 100 million Covid-19 cases and is facing the threat of “vaccine nationalism” according to WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who was speaking during an online briefing on Friday.

“Vaccine nationalism might serve short-term political goals. But it’s ultimately short-sighted and self-defeating,” he said.

“That’s why I have challenged government and industry leaders to work together to ensure that in the first 100 days of 2021, vaccination of health workers and older people is under way in all countries. My message to governments is to vaccinate your health workers and older people, and share excess doses with Covax, so other countries can do the same.”

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