Around 50 countries around the world have already started vaccinating their populations against Covid-19, barely a year after China’s first alert signaled the start of the epidemic.
– China leads the way –
China, where the pandemic first appeared, was also the first to start vaccinations over the summer, without waiting for a vaccine to be officially authorized but targeting the most vulnerable.
To date, nearly five million Chinese have been vaccinated. Beijing granted “conditional” marketing authorization on Thursday for a Sinopharm vaccine with a reported efficacy rate of 79% against Covid-19.
Russia followed on December 5, rolling out vaccinations to those considered to be at high risk with its controversial Sputnik V vaccine, which has since been approved in Belarus and Argentina, which launched their vaccination campaigns on Tuesday.
Algeria should follow them in January.
– Britain first in the West –
Britain led the way in the Western world by authorizing the vaccine made by the US-German pharmaceutical alliance Pfizer-BioNTech. Its vaccination campaign began on December 8 since nearly 800,000 people received their vaccines, according to the National Health Service.
Britain was also the first Wednesday to approve the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford. It will be administered for the first time on January 4.
Canada and the United States began their vaccination campaigns on December 14, Switzerland on December 23, Serbia on December 24, the vast majority of the European Union on December 27, Norway on Sunday and Iceland on Tuesday. All use the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
The US and Canada are also the first two countries to have cleared the vaccine by US pharmaceutical company Moderna, which is due for EU approval on Jan.6.
Some 2.8 million Americans have already received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. In the 27 EU countries, Germany has so far administered the most injections, with more than 130,000 in five days.
– Israeli target –
In the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates were the first to launch their vaccination campaign with doses of Chinese Sinopharm on December 14 in the capital Abu Dhabi. Dubai began its vaccinations on December 23, using doses of Pfizer-BioNTech.
Saudi Arabia and Bahrain launched their campaigns on December 17, Israel two days later, Qatar on December 23, Kuwait on December 24 and Oman on December 27.
All only use the Pfizer-BioNTech jab, except Bahrain which also uses Sinopharm from China.
Israel, which has set itself the ambitious goal of vaccinating a quarter of its population in one month, has already injected nearly 800,000 people. Bahrain has vaccinated nearly 60,000 and Oman more than 3,000.
Turkey, which has received doses of Chinese Sinovac, will launch its vaccination campaign in mid-January.
In Latin America, Mexico, Chile and Costa Rica were the first to launch injections with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on December 24.
In Asia, Singapore launched its campaign on Wednesday with the same vaccine.
Other countries on the Asian continent have decided to take their time, however: India, Japan and Taiwan plan to start vaccinations in the first quarter of 2021 and the Philippines and Pakistan in the second quarter, while Afghanistan and Thailand plan to start in mid-2021.
In sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania, vaccinations have yet to take off. But in West Africa, Guinea this week administered its first doses of Russian Sputnik V on a trial basis.
© 2020 AFP