Vaccinations against the coronavirus have progressed quite sluggishly in Asia. The highest achievers so far have – predictably - been micro and island states like the Seychelles, the Maldives or Singapore. While the latter had given out almost 26 doses per 100 of population as of last week, the Maldives and the Seychelles reached around 49 and 104, respectively. This is according to data collected by research project Our World in Data.
Having developed their own vaccines, India and China also rank quite highly despite their massive population sizes, at 6.3 and 10.1 doses per 100 population, per the latest available data. China has been instrumental in giving the Seychelles vaccination campaign a head start and is also supplying Indonesia. Singapore, like Malaysia, relied on the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. India has not exported its local Covaxin variety but has helped neighbors and allies out significantly with its locally produced AstraZeneca vaccine, dubbed Covishield. The export drive has led to a quick start of vaccination campaigns and comparably high vaccination levels in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka as well.
Independent of where they are getting their vaccines, there have been some late starters among Asian countries which have still given out fewer than one dose per 100 people in the country. Among them are Thailand, the Philippines and Japan, where vaccination campaigns only started at the end of February and have progressed slowly. Things moved faster in Mongolia where more than 9 doses per 100 people of the Indian AstraZeneca variety have been given out since February 22. Equally, South Korea reached two doses per 100 since vaccinations started on February 25, using AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines.
While the UK and the U.S. are among the world’s fastest vaccinators thanks to their own vaccine varieties, the mix and match approach championed by some Gulf and Eastern European states has also proven successful. The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Serbia and Hungary are the only countries together with Mexico which have fully authorized more than three coronavirus vaccines and are also among the only ten countries in the world which have authorized both the Russian Sputnik vaccine and a Chinese variety. The UAE have had one of the most successful campaigns in the world with more than 86 doses given out per 100 population as of Sunday, while tallies stood at approximately 48 in Bahrain, 38 in Serbia and 34 in Hungary – far surpassing European peers.