Hesitation in vaccination in Asia, where the number of infected people has skyrocketed and is lagging behind the United States and Europe

A doctor passing the banner announcing the Covid-19 vaccination drive in Hyderabad, India, May 28, 2021.

Noah Searam | AFP | Getty Images

Singapore — The Asia-Pacific region is struggling to vaccinate its population as Covid-19 infections are growing rapidly in many parts of the region, some reaching record levels.

Many Asian governments have problems securing vaccines, said Professor Benjamin Cowling of the University of Hong Kong School of Public Health. He added that the first successful containment of the coronavirus in Asia may have reduced the urgency of vaccination.

“When there have been few infections in the past year, there is a realization that Covid is not at that much risk and can maintain zero (cases) with just a social distance from the face mask. “Hesitation was a big problem,” Cowling, who heads the school’s epidemiology and biostatistics department, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Tuesday.

In short, Asia has fallen behind in the deployment of vaccination in the name of successful containment.

Infections are now rampant again in the region.

India, Nepal, Malaysia, Japan and Taiwan are among the countries that broke records with daily cases in the past month, and authorities are imposing new limits to reduce cases.

Asian Covid Vaccination

According to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by the statistical site Our World in Data as of June 1, Asia-Pacific countries receive approximately 23.8 doses of the Covid vaccine in bulk per 100 people.

This is well below the approximately 61.4 doses per 100 people in North America and the 48.5 doses per 100 people in Europe. According to the data, Africa is the region with the slowest vaccination rate, with only 2.5 doses per 100 people.

Economists at the French bank Natixis track vaccine supply and vaccination progress throughout the Asia-Pacific region. They said in a memo last month that while supply shortages are a major factor in vaccination delays in the region, few countries are currently facing the problem.

Economists have listed Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines and Vietnam as countries that “have not yet obtained the doses needed for mass vaccination.”

“That said, demand from the general public remains weak,” the Natixis report said. “Skepticism about newly developed vaccines seems to be a common reason for hesitation worldwide, but even more so in Asia, where more effective containment has reduced urgency.”

Leader and Laguard

In the Asia-Pacific region, Mongolia and Singapore have been vaccinated approximately 97 and 69 times per 100 people, respectively, according to Our World in Data.

The data show that many frontier and emerging economies, such as Vietnam and Afghanistan, are lagging behind.

According to a report by research firm Fitch Solutions, some frontier and emerging markets in Asia rely on COVAX, a global vaccine sharing initiative, for Covid vaccines.

However, supply from COVAX is currently at stake as India restricts exports of vaccines, the report said. India has a vaccine maker, Serum Institute India, to this initiative. Is a major supplier of the new Coronavirus.

Many low- and middle-income countries that rely on COVAX have warned that vaccination progress will be “further delayed” if India’s exports are not resumed immediately. Fitch Solutions.

Asia vs. West Recovery

Based on current vaccination rates, Natixis economists predict that only Singapore and mainland China will be able to vaccinate 70% of each country’s population this year.

This is the threshold that some healthcare professionals say is needed to reach “herd immunity.” This is when the virus quickly ceases to spread because most people are immune after vaccination or infection.

Economists said Asian countries still struggling to supply vaccines may not reach that limit until 2025 or beyond.

Natixis economists said the slow progress in vaccination would hurt some Asian economies more than others. They said the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia were the best. Vaccination is becoming more urgent due to inadequate pandemics and large economic exposure to tourism.

“That is, Asia has been slow to spread vaccination because of a successful containment example,” Natixis said. Compared to Western countries, the region has longer social distance measures and cross-border restrictions. He added that it would continue.

“If broader economic activity resumes in the West, based on faster vaccine deployments, especially to the United States and the EU, inequality could widen and Asia is on the road to recovery. The more vulnerable and invested. “

Hesitation in vaccination in Asia, where the number of infected people has skyrocketed and is lagging behind the United States and Europe

Source link Hesitation in vaccination in Asia, where the number of infected people has skyrocketed and is lagging behind the United States and Europe

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