Covid-19 Vaccine: Israel Leads the World in Vaccination Rate
Israel has the highest coronavirus vaccination rate in the world with 11.55 doses per 100 people.
It is followed by Bahrain at 3.49 and the UK at 1.47, according to a global tracking website affiliated with Oxford University.
In comparison, France had vaccinated 138 people in total by December 30.
More than 1.8 million people have now died of Covid-19 around the world.
The comparative figures on vaccination are put together by Our World in Data, which is a collaboration between Oxford University and an educational charity.
They measure the number of people who have received a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Most of the vaccines approved for use so far rely on two doses, given more than a week apart.
The US fell far short of its target of vaccinating 20 million people by the end of 2020, with just 2.78 million having received a jab by December 30.
Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci has said he does not agree with UK plans to give as many people as possible a first vaccine dose, while delaying second doses.
He said the US would not be adopting a similar strategy.
India has meanwhile approved two vaccines for emergency use – the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and the Covaxin vaccine, developed locally by Bharat Biotech and the state-run Indian Council of Medical Research.
Two further vaccines are awaiting approval. India aims to vaccinate 300 million people by the middle of the year and has been staging drills to prepare for mass distribution.
India is holding a national drill for its vaccination program, which is aiming to reach 300 million people by the middle of the year.
It will rely on the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which has now been recommended by a government panel. The Oxford vaccine does not require the same storage at extremely low temperatures as the Pfizer vaccine, making it suitable for distribution to areas without sophisticated health care facilities.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is known as Covishield in India, where it is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India. Another vaccine, developed by Bharat Biotech, has been approved for emergency use.
Covid-19 has already claimed nearly 150,000 lives in India, with about 10 million people infected – second only to the number infected in the US.
Israel began vaccinations on December 19 and is delivering the shot to about 150,000 people a day, with priority given to the over-60s, health workers and people who are clinically vulnerable.
It secured supplies of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine following negotiations early on in the pandemic. It is contacting people with priority access to the vaccine through its health care system – by law all Israelis must register with a recognized health care provider.
Israel has safely subdivided shipments of the Pfizer vaccine, which must be stored at -70C, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein told YNet TV news. This means smaller batches of the vaccine can be sent out to remote communities.
PM Benjamin Netanyahu, who is campaigning for re-election, has predicted Israel could emerge from the pandemic as early as February. It is currently in its third national lockdown.
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In the first three days of the EU vaccination campaign, which launched on December 27, France inoculated fewer than 100 people. In comparison, Germany had given more than 190,000 vaccines by January 2.
Part of the difficulty in France stems from the widespread scepticism about the vaccination. In a 15-country poll carried out by Ipsos Global Advisor, just 40% of French respondents said they would be willing to have the vaccine.
This compares to 80% in China, 77% in the UK, and 69% in the US.
Earlier this week, the French health minister defended the slow pace of vaccinations, saying authorities had chosen to give the vaccine in care homes to elderly residents, rather than making them travel.