Now that several COVID-19 vaccines have been approved, and with almost 200 vaccines still in development, the race is on to immunise the world against coronavirus and get back life to normal. However, just 10 countries have administered 75% of all vaccine doses so far according to UN Secretary General António Guterres, and 130 countries haven’t had a single vaccine dose, something Guterres describes as “wildly unfair and uneven”. Click or scroll through the countries and groups of nations that have secured the most vaccine doses based on data collated by Duke University’s Global Health Innovation Center for its Launch & Scale Speedometer, which tracks coronavirus vaccine orders around the globe, as of 15 February 2021.
All dollar amounts in US dollars unless otherwise stated.
The New Zealand government is spending billions of dollars on its COVID-19 vaccination programme, having ordered at least 22 million doses (though some sources put the total at 24.82 million), enough to immunise the entire population two and a half times over. The biggest single order is for 10.72 million doses of Novavax’s vaccine. Given the country has escaped the worst of the pandemic, there’s not such a pressing need to roll out the programme, which won’t launch until the second quarter of the year. However, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (pictured) has announced that she won’t open the New Zealand border to foreigners until the country’s citizens are vaccinated and protected. New Zealand has also paid NZ$27 million ($19.4m/£14.1m) to the World Health Organization-led COVAX initiative’s supply of low-cost vaccines destined for lower- and middle- income nations in order to receive an early allocation. It is expecting 250,000 doses from COVAX before the end of July.
Bangladesh has only managed to order 33 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine at $4 (£2.90) a dose, enough to immunise just 10% of its population. However, the South Asian country has been gifted two million doses from India and is getting 60 million doses as part of the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility, a global initiative to make low-cost vaccines available to countries, primarily poorer ones. Bangladesh is also developing a vaccine of its own called Bongavax. The nationwide vaccination programme was scheduled to begin on 8 February.
Uzbekistan has pinned its hopes on Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, having ordered 35 million doses back in September at a cost of up to $350 million (£255m), but the manufacturers of the drug have struggled to meet the order. As a result the Uzbek government has been looking at other options, including a request for two million vaccine doses from COVAX and fast-tracking the approval of a vaccine by China’s Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical.
Applauded for its success containing the virus so quickly, the Taiwanese government has been ever diligent, ordering 30 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 10 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s jab at an estimated cost of $640 million (£466m), based on wholesale prices, which should be sufficient to achieve herd immunity. But the rollout isn’t expected to begin until March at the earliest as, similar to New Zealand, the need to immunise vast numbers of people in the country isn’t so urgent.
Like many other low- and middle-income nations, Colombia doesn’t have enough COVID-19 vaccine on order at present to achieve herd immunity but the government aims to get there by spending hundreds of millions of dollars, with the aim of vaccinating 34 million people by the end of 2021. Right now, it has ordered 41.5 million doses of vaccine: 10 million doses each of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines have been reserved, along with 9 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s upcoming jab and 2.5 million of Sinovac. Around 1.7 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are expected to reach the country sometime in February, when the vaccination programme will begin. Colombia is also reportedly in talks about the Sputnik V vaccine.
The vaccine rollout has already begun in Argentina, where the first shots of Russia’s Sputnik V were administered in late December. The Argentinian government has ordered 25 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine in total, and secured 22 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s vaccine. With Sputnik V costing $10 (£7.28) a dose and OxfordAstraZeneca’s priced at $4 (£2.90), the bill for all 47 million doses is likely to cost an estimated $338 million (£246m).
The Turkish government has made a deal to purchase 50 million doses of the CoronaVac vaccine developed by Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac, and started rolling out a mass immunisation programme in mid-January. The authorities have also secured 4.5 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine with an option for 30 million additional doses, but they are still engaged in procurement negotiations.
Malaysia is experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases, so the rollout of the national immunisation programme, which is due to begin on 24 February, can’t come soon enough. The country’s government has already ordered 55.3 million doses in total, including 25 million of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and is spending $742 million (£540m) to vaccinate 84% of the population by the first quarter of next year.
Thailand has secured 61 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and two million doses of China’s Sinovac jab. The government has put aside billions of dollars and hopes to vaccinate 70% of the population by next year, but has been slow to implement the mass immunisation programme, which didn’t begin until 14 February, due mainly to supply issues.
Morocco kicked off its vaccine drive on 26 January and has bought up 41 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine as well as 25 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. As of 16 February the country has received 7 million of those doses according to Morocco World News, and 1.7 million Moroccans have been vaccinated so far. The country intends to vaccinate at least 80% of its population to achieve herd immunity.
The South Korean government is starting its big immunisation drive in February and expects to have enough vaccine to inoculate the entire population. Rather than putting its eggs in one basket, the powers that be have placed orders for a variety of vaccines, including 20 million doses each of the Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca shots, which together have a wholesale price of up to $1.28 billion (£932m).
The Peruvian government has settled on three vaccines: China’s Sinopharm, the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech. The Sinopharm and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines are favoured by less affluent countries as they only require regular refrigeration rather than storage at ultra-low temperatures. The first doses of the Sinopharm vaccine have arrived, with health workers at the front of the queue, but supplies of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine aren’t due for delivery until September, although the government is looking to bring its delivery forward.
Vietnam’s very own Nanocovax vaccine has entered human clinical trials, but is still some way off from gaining approval. In the meantime, the country’s government has put its faith in Sputnik V and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, of which it has reserved 50 million and 30 million doses respectively. At full price, these orders are worth a total of $620 million (£451m).
The COVID-19 vaccination programme has launched in Chile with Pfizer-BioNTech’s shot the first to gain approval, followed by the Sinovac jab. The country’s government, which has also placed orders for the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on the programme and has obtained more than enough supplies to immunise every single one of its citizens.
The Filipino government has a challenge on its hands as strong anti-vax sentiment rife is in the country, and so the immunisation programme, which is slated to begin in February, will be far from easy. Orders include 30 million doses from US drug maker Novavax, 25 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine, 20 million doses of Moderna, and 17 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s. The country hopes to secure 148 million vaccine doses by the end of 2021, which would cover around 70% of the population.
Egypt has already initiated its vaccination programme. So far the country’s government has ordered 40 million doses of vaccine from China’s Sinopharm, the first batch of which has already arrived, 30 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab, and 25 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine. Other than healthcare workers, Egyptians with the means to afford the vaccine will be expected to pay up to $13 (£9.50) to get immunised, unlike citizens of many other countries, who will be offered the jab for free.
The Chinese government hasn’t revealed the number of doses it has ordered of the country’s homegrown vaccines, meaning its overall figure is likely to be much higher, but we do know that the nation’s authorities have procured 100 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to bolster domestic supplies, and have paid $300 million (£218m) for the first 50 million doses.
The Indian government launched the biggest immunisation drive on the planet in mid-January and as the world’s leading vaccine manufacturer will actually produce most of the COVID-19 vaccine supplies it uses. So far, India has ordered 116.5 million doses, including 11 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which controversially it bought for the knockdown price of $2.72 (£2) per dose – neighbouring Bangladesh on the other hand has ended up paying $4 (£2.90) a pop and South Africa is having to spend $5.25 (£3.83).
Australia, which is set to begin its five-phase vaccination programme in late February, has earmarked AU$3.3 billion ($2.5bn/£1.8bn) to spend on vaccines and has already secured 124.8 million doses, enough to immunise the entire population twice over. The largest of the orders is for 53.8 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot.
The Launch & Scale Speedometer tracks COVID-19 orders made by blocs of countries in addition to those arranged by individual nations, and includes an agreement between Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helú’s non-profit foundation and AstraZeneca to supply 150 million vaccine doses to Latin American countries, with the exception of Brazil.
Grappling with a mutated form of the virus and the third-highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world, the Brazilian authorities have begun the country’s vaccination programme in earnest. To date, the government has reserved 232 million vaccine doses, the most significant order being for 102 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot, 100 million of which will be produced locally.
Japan is expecting to start its nationwide vaccination rollout in late February, with the nation’s government having put aside billions of dollars to pay for the 314 million doses of coronavirus vaccines it has ordered, which more than cover the entire population, and comprise 120 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and 144 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, as well as 50 million doses of Moderna’s.
Canada has procured more vaccine doses per head than any other country in the world, enough in fact to immunise the country’s population five times over. The country began administering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on 14 December, but is currently dealing with delivery delays. In total, the government has snapped up 40 million doses of both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, along with 76 million shots of the Medicago vaccine, 72 million shots of the Sanofi-GSK vaccine, 52 million doses of the Novavax vaccine, 38 million of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and 20 million orders of the Oxford-AstraZeneca, at a cost of billions of dollars. However, like New Zealand, Canada has come under fire for requesting access to the COVAX initiative’s supply of low-cost vaccines destined for lower- and middle- income nations. Canada is the only G7 country to do so, giving $440 million (£320m) to COVAX in September 2020, which secured it doses from around nine vaccine candidates. It is expected to receive an initial 1.9 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the scheme.
The first nation in the world to roll out a COVID-19 vaccination programme – pictured is Margaret Keenan, the first person to receive a vaccine – the UK has won plaudits for its immunisation programme with more than 15 million first doses of vaccine administered as of 15 February, with a further 539,630 people having received a second dose. The UK’s National Audit Office estimates the government will spend up to $16 billion (£11.7bn) on coronavirus vaccines, with 457 million doses on order, including 100 million doses of the AstraZeneca jab, which is sufficient to vaccinate everyone in the country three times over. In fact the UK’s vaccine drive looks like it is already preparing for the long term, and the nation has now bought 40 million doses of the Valneva vaccine, even though it has not been through clinical trials or been approved by the UK’s regulator, which are set to be delivered in 2022.
The African Union is working hard to ensure its 55 member states aren’t deprived of vaccines, though many nations in the bloc will struggle to immunise enough people to reach herd immunity without outside help. The organisation arranged payment guarantees of up to $2 billion (£1.5bn) to garner 270 million doses, including an order for 120 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s upcoming vaccine, 100 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, and 50 million of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot. Since then it has bought a further 400 million doses from The Serum Institute of India, which is making a vaccine using the Oxford-AstraZeneca formula under the name of Covishield for India and other developing countries.
As mentioned, the COVAX facility is an initiative spearheaded by the World Health Organization, which was set up to provide low-cost COVID-19 vaccines to countries, particularly lower income ones, to ensure equal access for all. Working with manufacturers including AstraZeneca, the global collaboration, which involves two-thirds of all countries, has secured 1.12 billion doses for distribution worldwide so far. However, COVAX has an aim of securing two billion doses by the end of 2021 to end the acute phase of the pandemic.
The soon-to-be-renamed Operation Warp Speed – the vaccine initiative set up by the Trump administration – has spent around $12.4 billion (£9bn) supporting vaccine development and has acquired 1.21 billion coronavirus vaccine doses, enough to immunise the population of America twice over. However, the rollout under the last administration has been described as “chaotic” and “limited” by a White House insider. New President Joe Biden promised 100 million vaccines in his first 100 days of office, and on 27 January he announced he had authorised the purchase of 100 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 100 million doses of the Moderna vaccine to fight vaccine supply shortages.
The rollout of the EU’s vaccination programme hasn’t gone so smoothly either so far. The bloc has parted with tens of billions to secure 1.885 billion doses, more than any other entity in the world. However, it became embroiled in an argument with AstraZeneca over shortages, after the manufacturer announced it was only able to deliver 31 million doses by the end of March rather than the 80 million doses expected by that date. AstraZeneca blamed the situation on production issues in factories in Europe, but the EU pushed for access to vaccines produced in UK factories. The row ended on 1 February when AstraZeneca promised to add 9 million doses to the end of March batch, so the bloc will have 40 million AstraZeneca doses by that point. As well as the total 400 million doses it has on order from AstraZeneca, the EU has cut colossal deals with Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi-GSK, Moderna, Novavax, CureVac and Valneva.
This content was originally published here.