Britain ahead of entire EU on vaccines
Britain has vaccinated more people against COVID-19 than the 27-nation European Union put together, according to an AFP tally on Wednesday.
Since Britain approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in early December, more than 1.3 million people have received a first jab, nearly two percent of the population.
In contrast, EU countries, which mostly launched their vaccination drives between December 26 and 29, have altogether inoculated 1.1 million people—a mere 0.2 percent of their total population.
On Monday Britain also began rolling out the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
Of the bloc's member states, Germany has carried out the most injections with 367,331, ahead of Italy (260,948), Poland (140,226), Spain (139,339) and Denmark (63,312).
The EU has been using doses of the jab produced by Pfizer-BioNTech.
A second vaccine, by US pharma company Moderna, was given the green light on Wednesday by the EU authorities.
Britain has yet to approve the jab and has been criticised for not ordering shipments of it early enough.
In contrast to Europe, the US—which has the world's biggest death toll—has vaccinated 4.84 million people, or 1.5 percent of the population with both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech shots.
And trailblazing Israel is getting close to injecting a fifth of its people.
China had given shots to more than 4.5 million (or 0.3 percent of the population) by December 31.
All these countries started injecting well before the EU.
The Netherlands only started vaccinating Wednesday, the last EU member to do so.
France too is lagging, having only given over 7,000 doses, while Austria (8,360), Bulgaria (5,448) and Ireland (4,000), have inoculated less than 0.1 percent of their populations.
When it comes to a proportion of the population, Denmark has vaccinated the most in the EU, inoculating 1.1 percent of its population, nearly three times higher than Germany and Italy.
© 2021 AFP