TWENTY-ONE months into the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, widespread vaccination has become the holy grail for a world looking to exit economically crippling lockdowns that have been used thus far to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Some 227.8 million people have been infected with Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, as of Sept. 17, 2021 or four million more than a week ago, according to Worldometer, citing data from health ministries and other government authorities.
Of these, 4.68 million have died, or roughly 9,000 people a day in the last week.
How is the world faring in the battle against Sars-CoV-2?
The picture doesn’t look good, considering that governments were looking at a vaccination rate of 60 or 70 percent as the threshold needed to achieve herd immunity. And this was before the more highly transmissible Delta variant came along and pushed up those estimates to 80 to 90 percent.
As of Sept. 17, 2021, only 31.2 percent of people had been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 worldwide, according to Our World in Data, citing official numbers from governments.
A whopping 92, or 41 percent, of the 222 countries and territories surveyed by Our World in Data had vaccination rates lower than 20 percent.
This includes the Philippines, with just 16.2 percent of its population fully vaccinated against Covid-19 as of Sept. 17.
Who are leading the race in fully vaccinating their citizens?
Gibraltar tops the list with 117 percent of its population fully vaccinated, followed by Pitcairn, 100 percent; and Portugal, 81.8 percent.
Also in the top 10 are Malta, 81.2 percent; Iceland and the United Arab Emirates, both at 79.8 percent; Singapore, 77.1 percent; Spain, 76.5 percent; Cayman Islands, 75.8 percent; Qatar, 75.7 percent; and Denmark, 74.4 percent.
Chile, famed for its rapid vaccination rollout, had 72.9 percent of its population fully vaccinated. It was the first country in South America to start inoculations when it did so on Christmas Eve in 2020.
The United Kingdom, the first in the world to embark on a nationwide coronavirus immunization campaign when it did so on Dec. 8, 2020, has 65 percent of its population fully vaccinated.
China, from where the virus was first reported to the World Health Organization on Dec. 31, 2019, had 70 percent of its population fully vaccinated. This means about 1 billion of its over 1.4 billion population.
The rate of vaccination has been uneven worldwide, with Europe having 50.7 percent of its population now fully vaccinated, but the more heavily populated Asia managing just 34 percent; Australia, 36 percent; and Africa, 3.8 percent.
The disparity in the Americas also showed with 45.2 percent fully vaccinated in North America but just 36.4 percent in South America. (CTL)