US, Israel years ahead of Europe in early race for COVID-19 shots

Munich: The US is on pace to vaccinate 75 per cent of its population against COVID-19 this year, while Canada would need almost a decade to reach that coverage level, according to Bloomberg data.

The starkly different trajectories show how unevenly countries around the world have kicked off the largest mass vaccination drive in history.

The Britain and Israel are also on a path to administer a two-dose vaccine regimen to three-quarters of people this year — reaching a rough estimate for when herd immunity might kick in — while much of Europe would need a few years for that.

The COVID-19 vaccine.Credit:Getty

Though overall the US is faring relatively well compared with other countries, the picture varies by individual states. Hawaii is headed for the key coverage level this year, with New York currently looking at summer 2022.

These projections are the latest feature on Bloomberg’s COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker, and are based on the average daily vaccination rates in different countries and US states.

Herd immunity occurs when enough people have resistance to a virus, either through vaccination or antibodies from previous infection, that the pathogen can no longer make inroads.

It’s a complicated concept, and experts disagree on how fast it will be achieved on a regional, national or global scale, especially in the face of mutating virus strains and questions about the longevity of protection from COVID shots.

The pace of vaccinations is also expected to accelerate considerably around the world as more COVID shots get approved and production scales up.

Bloomberg

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