September 6, 2021

Chart of the Week: The stragglers in the vaccination race

by Fathom Consulting.

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The speed of vaccine deployment has varied greatly among advanced economies. Several countries that were successful in containing the spread of COVID-19, such as Australia and Japan, were slow to roll out vaccines once they became available. Other countries, such as the UK and US, saw higher rates of infection but were much speedier in their vaccine approval and deployment process.

With the new more transmissible Delta variant, the race to vaccinate became a sprint. Those countries that started early are close to finishing their vaccination programmes, with vaccine hesitancy rather than supply issues likely to explain why some eligible people are still unvaccinated. Meanwhile, some countries that had been successful at controlling the spread of COVID are now facing a greater challenge keeping the Delta variant at bay. The good news is that many advanced economies with previously faltering vaccination campaigns are quickly making up for lost time. Some have already overtaken the UK and US, and others are on track to do so by the end of the year.

However, some G20 countries are still lagging behind. Both Russia and South Africa have a low proportion of the population protected and are currently vaccinating at a much slower rate. These stragglers will remain highly susceptible to new waves of the Delta variant. Based on their current rates of inoculation, they are set to be at risk until early to middle of next year.

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