Which “rich” countries stalled on vaccination and why they may pose a risk to the rest

Ten days ago, the WHO authorities once again emphasized that while many countries have more than enough vaccines against him Covid, others are directly lacking. But inequity in access to doses has another complication, given by a number of countries with resources, whose vaccination campaigns lag behind.

In other words, due to the skepticism of the population towards these drugs, or due to a lack of credibility in the authorities that promote them, the campaigns against Covid in these places are progressing in such a way. slow motion.

And because they are “wealthy”, some of the nations with stagnant vaccination they are among the majors tourist stations around the globe.

Health personnel apply doses against Covid-19. Photo EFE

Is a delicate topic. In the pandemic It was amply seen how any minor indication can give rise to xenophobic manifestations, directed at people who are presumed to be related to sources of infection risk. In this case, they could be related to foci of low adherence to vaccination.

However, the problem of mobility and contagion is an undeniable fact. Knowing that the mandatory immunization is highly debatable, the challenge seems to be in boost vaccination in the name of the “common good”, in order to sustain the fine global pandemic balance.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the WHO, summed it up a few days ago when he warned that “almost a third of the world’s population is vaccinated, but these figures mask a horrible inequity.”

“It is not a problem of supply but of allocation”, evaluated the manager, and explained: “We have the tools to have the pandemic under control, but only if we use them properly and fairly. Vaccinating is the only way to reduce risk contagion, and with these, the appearance of new variants of Covid“.


How is it determined that a country has vaccinated “little”?

The ideal vaccination threshold, the one that would generate the famous herd immunity, is a matter of discussion among experts. Some people say 90% (with complete scheme) compared to variants like Delta, when until a few months ago there was talk of 70% or 80%.

However, in a globalized world, with high levels of mobility, it does not matter if a country has 90% of the population vaccinated when its neighbor does not exceed 20%.

The goals set by the WHO this week they are getting the 70% of the world’s population will have two doses by mid-2022. And 50%, if possible, by the end of this year.

The 10% horizon that was wanted to be reached this month has already been breached.

Argentina and beyond

Although we could use a bucket of second doses, an encouraging fact is that it has been a little over a month Argentina beat the United States in immunization with a dose. They 65%; us 67%. And we are not far from matching them in complete schemes: there, 56%; here, 53%.

These percentages, more than laurels for local management (whose campaign started very bumpy, improved a lot a few months ago and now ranges between intense days and a frank slowdown), they warn of the severe advance of anti-vaccination in the United States, a country that began to immunize against Covid long before Argentina.

But it is not the only country to look at, if one leaves aside the problem of access to vaccines from developing countries.

The World Organization for sightseeing (OMT) reveals a data that speaks of who are the citizens who move the most around the world, given their economic solvency.

In 2019, the nations stations that had moved the most money in tourism They were China, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Russia, Canada, South Korea and Italy.

To complete the map of “mobility”, there is also the ranking of the nations that register the most trips abroad per capita. The most relevant are Hong Kong, some of the Nordics (Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark), New Zealand, Australia, France and, again, the United States.

Several of these countries have vaccination campaigns against Covid not admirable.


For example, it is known that the current spike in infections in Russia is linked less to an “anti-vaccine” trend than to a severe mistrust in the authorities of the Government that leads for almost a decade Vladimir Putin.

Following the data of Our World in DataToday only 31% of Russians have a complete scheme against Covid. And an extra 3% of the population has a dose.

Russian President Vladimir Putin.  In Russia, vaccination rates are low due to mistrust.  AP Photo

Russian President Vladimir Putin. In Russia, vaccination rates are low due to mistrust. AP Photo

Hong Kong, one of the countries with the most international trips per capita (according to the specialized site WorldAtlas.com) registers similar vaccination figures – and, therefore, a little stagnant– to those of the United States: 57% have two doses and 60% (below Argentina), at least one.

Two other nations that, compared to their booming economy, they come “calm” in the complete immunization are Australia and New Zealand. In a situation similar to that of Argentina, they have a good range of one dose, but the Complete schemes only passed half the population.


However, the UNWTO assures that four out of every five people who leave their country do so within their region. How vaccinated are our South American neighbors? The picture is very uneven.

Chile and Uruguay (unbeatable) exceed 70% with two doses and they are around 80%, with one. EcuadorAlthough it has less scope with one dose, it surpasses Argentina in complete schemes (55%).

But in the giant Brazil the thing is different. Although the strategy with one dose is progressing well (72%, well above Argentina), it would be desirable that they will rush the second doses, today administered to 47% of the population.

The same wish runs for other neighbors: Paraguay, Bolivia and Venezuela. With one dose they do not reach 40%. With two, between 22% and 28%.

The exception are Colombia and PeruBut they are not admirable figures either: 55% and 52% of the population have an injection, respectively. And two, 37% and 40%.

None of these cases is an example of a “rich” country with great anti-vaccination movements. They are examples of global imbalance. The inequity in the acquisition of vaccines that the WHO warns about.


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