EU countries must triple the vaccination rate to catch up with the UK and US, says German database company Statista.
The US and UK are on track to achieve herd immunity to COVID-19 by the end of 2021, given the speed of their mass vaccination programs, but major countries in the European Union are not, according to a new report.
German database company Statista studied the number of COVID-19 vaccines administered daily, using recent data from local health authorities in each country.
In a study published on Tuesday citing figures from February, he said that while the US and UK administered 1.6 million and 434,444 doses on average per day, Germany gave 110,714 doses, the France 96,706 and Italy only 67,887 doses per day.
“Only the UK and US are administering enough daily COVID-19 vaccines to achieve collective immunity by the end of 2021. By contrast, EU countries are expected to nearly triple the current number daily doses of vaccine to reach the goal, ”Statista said.
The United States and the United Kingdom “are already on a promising path,” Statista said, although they have been hit hard by the pandemic – recording the world’s worst and fifth worst death rates, respectively.
The report predicts that the United States is set to become the first G20 country to achieve collective immunity and that the United Kingdom will become the first major European country to do so.
In the UK, more than a third of the adult population has so far received the first dose of a vaccine since early December – a widely hailed feat the report cited as a reason for the country’s progress.
Slow vaccine rollout in the EU
It is not yet clear what proportion of a population must be vaccinated against SARS-CoV2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 – to achieve herd immunity, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Scientific estimates of the threshold vary widely. Some said it was maybe 70% or more. Statista based its modeling on a threshold of 70%.
Based on this figure, the report states that the current rate of vaccinations in France, Germany and Italy must be significantly increased to achieve herd immunity against the coronavirus this year.
In Germany, 315,200 people are expected to be vaccinated every day to reach the 70% threshold by the end of 2021. According to the data studied, Germany recently administered around 110,714 doses per day.
In France, 246,500 people per day would need a dose for this goal to be reached, more than double the recent number.
Italy needed to step up its efforts significantly – with a target of 229,900 people per day was the target, up from 67,887 recently, Statista said.
Slow vaccination efforts in the three EU countries illustrate slow deployments across the rest of the bloc, with efforts hampered by delivery delays, production bottlenecks and political errors.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen admitted last month that the EU was too late to approve COVID-19 vaccines and was overly optimistic about production.
Von der Leyen said despite the problems, 70% of adults in the block should have been vaccinated by the end of the summer.