Friday, March 05, 2021

National Vaccination Trends

Thought I'd look at some recent vaccination rates:

The US is now, in just 6 weeks, at twice the rate as when Trump left office, but no acceleration. The UK is, sadly, beginning to backtrack, and Ireland and Canada are making some much needed gains. I'm surprised Germany is so low for, you know, an economic powerhouse.

Sorry if I missed any reader countries.


Layzej said...

Canada's well behind.

IanR said...

The UK slowdown probably a combination of slightly lower vaccine availability and second vaccinations kicking in (UK made a decision early on to give as many people as possible the first shot and to delay the second shot by up to 12 weeks). Interestingly, new emerging evidence suggests the longer 12 week gap is more efficacious than going with the vaccine trial data of repeat jabs after 3 weeks.

There may also be a higher vaccine resistance in the younger age groups now being offered the vaccine.

I'm afraid the EU (including Germany) have made a complete mess of the vaccination issue. Originally, a few countries (including Germany, France, Denmark, Netherlands if I remember correctly) wanted to do what the UK did and do their own thing. However, the European Commission bureaucrats said they should buy all the vaccines en bloc for equitable distribution. UK were offered a place at this table but decided to go their own way, thank goodness.

The UK also put in more money upfront (than EU) which enabled the UK vaccine developers to start preparing the scale-up equipment well before any vaccine was available. Astra-Zeneca, for example, were ready to mass produce vaccine in September 2020, well before any vaccine was available. The EU did none of this and so have suffered from late teething problems that always arise when you scale up; hence fewer vaccine shots available than expected. The EU also tries to be 'fair' to all members and spreads the work around; it would have been better to concentrate development and production in the countries best equipped for this type of work.

There was also an element of bad luck for the EU in that they backed some of the wrong horses in the race to produce a vaccine (Sanofi).

Finally, although the A-Z vaccine was approved for all adult ages by the European Medicines Agency and WHO, France and Germany decided not to approve it for over 65s because of insufficient trial data. More recent data from real world vaccinations show it works for all ages. France and Germany are now having trouble convincing their over 65 populations to take a vaccine they originally said was no good for over 65s! Who would have thought! The damage is even greater because their original stance on the A-Z vaccine has effectively labelled it as a second-class option and people are refusing it and saying they will wait for the Pfizer which is in short supply because of scale-up problems in the EU facilities.

Last week, I think, I heard both Germany and France have over a million doses each of the A-Z vaccine languishing in storage because of the actions of their leaders. And to think a couple of weeks ago they were complaining to A-Z that they were not getting as many vaccines as they expected.

Layzej said...

Seems Brexit was a good idea after all.

Thomas said...

Covid relate graph from Sweden. Here are the numbers for the regular winter flu we have every year. Well, almost every year:
This year flu and some other regular diseases are just gone. Less traveling and social distancing may not be enough to get rid of Covid, but it's still having quite an effect.

David Appell said...

Thanks Thomas. I was thinking of you, but wasn’t sure of your nationality. Sorry.

Layzej said...

Canada's numbers are going to start taking off. Look out Germany! We're gunnin' for ya!

IanR said...

In breaking news, EU official says UK could have ploughed its own furrow regarding sourcing of vaccines even if still part of the EU. So not a Brexit issue.

As someone who voted to remain, I can accept there will be pros and cons to leaving. Big bureaucracy is never good for handling emergencies such as pandemics but better suited to long-term goals such as climate and environmental protection.