European countries have begun to immunize the population against COVID-19, but there are huge discrepancies in the rate of vaccination, despite the fact that the European Commission led a strategy to coordinate the purchase of vaccines.
Israel and the United Kingdom are the countries that have administered the most doses of vaccine to date, while France and the Netherlands are among the slowest countries. Spain will publish the first data today but everything indicates that the pace is very far from the fastest countries.
Euronews takes a look at the data.
The UK started with an advantage. It was the first country in the world to authorize the use of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNtech. The vaccination began on December 8.
By January 1, 2021, more than a million doses of vaccines had been administered, as highlighted IN CAPITAL LETTERS by Health Secretary Matt Hancock on his Twitter account, as he celebrated that the Arrival of the Vaccine from Oxford University and AstraZeneca they will accelerate the process as of this Monday.
The pace of vaccination is expected to accelerate rapidly with the arrival of this new vaccine. About 530,000 doses are expected to be administered in the first week.
Oxford vaccine is cheaper and easier to distribute because it can be stored and transported under normal refrigeration conditions. The Pfizer vaccine should be kept at -70 ° C.
Almost 1.1 million Israelis had received their first dose of the Pfizer / BioNtech vaccine on January 3, according to Health Minister Yuri Elderstein.
This means that 12% of the 8.9 million inhabitants of the country have received the first dose. It is by far the country in the world with the highest vaccination rate per 100 inhabitants.
“This is an extraordinary achievement thanks to our medical staff. Thanks to you, we are the first in the world to administer the vaccine,” Elderstein wrote on Twitter.
In Russia, which has its own vaccine, Sputnik V, with V for “victory”, has vaccinated about 800,000 people according to Our World in Data, this is equivalent to 0.55% of its population. This vaccine is being adopted by many developing countries. Some denounce a political campaign against them. The fact is that vaccines have become a matter of geostrategy and diplomacy of the highest order.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine on December 21 with the rollout coordinated by the European Commission.
Brussels has reached advance purchase agreements with multiple companies and has secured enough doses to vaccinate the 450 million inhabitants of the block. The first delivery of the vaccine to member states took place on December 26. Doses are assigned to each member state based on the size of its population.
The AEM is expected to authorize the use of the Moderna vaccine on January 6.
So far, Denmark has the highest vaccination rate among the EU member states. More than 45,800 of the 5.8 million inhabitants of the country have received the vaccine as of January 2, which means a vaccination rate per 100 people of 0.78.
But in absolute terms, Germany is the country that has distributed the most doses of vaccine. More than 188,500 had been administered as of January 1, according to the Robert Koch Institute.
The country’s vaccination rate per 100 inhabitants is currently 0.23.
Croatia and Portugal come next with rates of 0.19 and 0.16 respectively. They are followed by Italy and Poland, which currently have rates of around 0.13 vaccination doses per 100 inhabitants. Italy, the most affected country in Europe, with almost 75,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19, has so far vaccinated more than 114,349 people
Austria, Bulgaria and Romania have a similar vaccination rate: 0.07 doses per 100 inhabitants. In absolute terms, Bucharest has delivered 13,200 doses, Vienna 6,000 and Sofia 4,739.
Estonia has vaccinated just under 2,500 people, giving it a vaccination rate of 0.2, higher than Greece and Finland, which is 0.03. Athens and Helsinki have each administered 3,001 and 1,767 doses of vaccines.
The French government has been criticized for the slowness of vaccination, with only 516 of the country’s 67 million inhabitants receiving the first dose on December 31. Authorities have vowed to pick up the pace and began vaccinating health workers over 50 on Saturday, a week earlier than originally planned.
Many analysts point out that the French government fears that many citizens will refuse to be vaccinated. Polls show that the French are among the most distrustful of vaccines and on everyone’s mind is the disaster of the 2009 flu A vaccination campaign that saw millions of doses purchased by the government going to the garbage.
Spain publishes this Monday the first data on the national strategy but the data published by some Autonomous Communities suggest that the campaign is being slow.
Finally, the Netherlands will start its vaccination campaign on January 8.