World passes three billion vaccine mark

By: AFP      Published: 07:05 PM, 29 Jun, 2021
World passes three billion vaccine mark

More than three billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been given across the world, according to an AFP tally Tuesday from official sources.

The pace of vaccination has so quickened that while it took 20 weeks to give the first billion, it only took four to give the last one thousand million.

Some four of 10 of the jabs have been given in China (1.2 billion), with India (329 million) and the United States (324 million) also in the top three.

But it is a trio of Middle Eastern countries that leads the way in terms of coverage (when you exclude countries with populations of less than one million), with the United Arab Emirates having given 153 doses per 100 people, ahead of Bahrain and Israel on 124. 

The three have nearly fully vaccinated 60 percent of their inhabitants. 

Following them are Chile (118 doses per 100 people), the United Kingdom (113), Mongolia (111), Uruguay (110), Hungary (107), Qatar (107) and the US (98). 

These countries have fully vaccinated around half of their populations (between 46 and 54 percent).

The European Union has given 357 millions shots to half of its population, with some 32 percent of the population having been fully covered.

Its smallest member Malta has completely covered seven out of 10 of its people; its biggest countries, Germany, France, Italy and Spain are hovering around a third fully vaccinated.  

Very unequal 

But globally the vaccination drive is still hugely unequal even if most poor countries have begun to vaccinate thanks to the Covax sharing scheme run by the World Health Organization, Gavi and the Cepi coalition.

While the world's poorest countries have only been able to give one dose per 100 people, the richest have given one per 79 people. 

And five countries have yet to start their campaigns -- Tanzania, Burundi, Eritrea, Haiti and North Korea.

Despite the controversies around it, the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab is still the most used in the world, given in eight of 10 countries.

Then comes the Pfizer/BioNTech jab (used in 102 or 47 percent of countries that have started vaccinating), with Sinopharm and Moderna used in at least 48 countries, Russia's Sputnik V (at least 41), Johnson & Johnson (31) and Sinovac in 24.