Only a few small countries have vaccinated 70 percent of their populations, which is a level that provides assurance that the virus will no longer be able to replicate – ending the pandemic.
Based on the most recent and best publicly available data, many developed countries have vaccinated less than 25 percent of their populations. However, many of these countries finally appear to be making rapid progress. Countries in Western Europe have started to accelerate their vaccination rates. China, after a slow start, is now delivering 17 million shots per day. However, the rest of the world is delivering vaccines at a slower pace. As a result, current worldwide vaccination progress stands at 11 percent.
While the U.S. and United Kingdom (UK) are achieving relatively high vaccination rates, recent counts suggest that their progress is slowing down. The U.S. government now acknowledges that they will fall short of their goal of vaccinating at least 70 percent of their population by July 4, 2021. Several factors contribute to the slowing vaccination rates. First, only a few countries have approved some of the vaccines for use with teens over the age of 12.
Second, a U.S. survey indicated that approximately 8 percent of the population will not accept any vaccines for any reason and an additional 14 percent sometimes will refuse vaccines.
Third, a portion of the U.S. population is considered “hard to reach,” meaning that considerable effort must be made to deliver vaccines to them due to their remote locations or inability to leave work to obtain a vaccine, despite their willingness to get vaccinated.
Vaccination efforts beyond the 27 largest economies (shown in the table on the following page) mostly lag nations with greater economic resources. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has distributed over $100 billion in aid towards vaccination efforts in less developed countries. This is mostly in the form of loan guarantees and other support.
The Group of Seven (G7) industrialized democracies at their June 2021 meeting pledged one billion vaccine doses to countries that cannot afford them. While this sounds generous, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) this donation only covers 1/10th of the need. While less developed countries do not contribute large volumes of air travel, a continuing pandemic presents the threat of a mutation that renders current vaccines ineffective, thereby stalling the current worldwide economic recovery.