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COVID vaccine: who in Europe is leading the race for collective immunity?

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With indications that a new wave of COVID-19 infections is sweeping through parts of Europe, here is “a look at the countries closest to achieving collective immunity.

The figures, calculated using data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), show the percentage of the entire population – rather than just the adult population – that is fully vaccinated.

Rather than looking at the percentage of the population fully vaccinated, this map looks at COVID vaccinations per 100 people.

Are rich countries winning the vaccine race?

There have been claims that the rollout of the COVID jab will see “vaccine apartheid” expand in parts of the world.

Earlier this year, the World Health Organization said nine out of 10 coronavirus vaccinations had taken place in wealthier countries.

To see what was happening in Europe, we compared a country’s GDP per capita to the number of vaccines given per 100 people.

A handful of relatively poorer countries – by European Union standards – started vaccinating later and covered fewer people. The list includes countries like Ukraine, Moldova, Albania, Montenegro, and Belarus.

Which group was vaccinated first?

Another interesting indicator is the group of people each country has chosen to give the first COVID-19 vaccine.

The countries in our study are divided equally between healthcare professionals and the elderly.

There are also a handful of countries, like Turkey, Serbia, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria that have chosen to give it to politicians first. In some cases, this could be a way of trying to allay the fears of a population skeptical about vaccines.

About this data

The data is taken from official government sources and media reports.


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