Coronavirus News Briefing – Oct. 26: The World is Now 50% Vaccinated

By Anna Breuer on 26 October 2021
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A panda at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding

The world crossed a significant milestone early Tuesday in the fight against the coronavirus: 50% of its population – some 3.84 billion people – have received at least one dose of Covid vaccine.  Even with this achievement, there remains a stark divide in vaccination rates in wealthy and poor nations, a topic covered later on in this briefing.

In China, officials ordered a lockdown of the northwestern city of Lanzhou after a small Covid outbreak there.  Health authorities in the city are carrying out widespread testing.

Hong Kong is further tightening its already severe quarantine rules.  Visitors from “high risk” regions, which include the United States and much of western Europe, will be required to spend 21 days in hotel quarantine.

Finally, New Zealand is expanding its vaccine mandate, currently in effect for healthcare workers, to include those individuals who come into close contact with customers, to those who work in restaurants, cafés, bars, fitness centers, and hair salons.

As of Tuesday morning, the world has recorded 245 million Covid-19 cases and over 4.97 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 222.1 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus.

The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 70,291, a -22% change.  The average daily death toll over the same period is 1,441, a change of -11% over the same period.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has as of Tuesday recorded over 46.4 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 757,849. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases,  34.2 million, and a death toll of 455,663, although experts believe that both numbers are in reality significantly higher.  Finally, Brazil has recorded the second highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 605,884, and has seen over 21.7 million cases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Tuesday, 220.5 million people in the United States – or 66.4% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 57.4%, or 190.7 million people, are now fully vaccinated, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 414.3 million. Breaking this down further, 79.5% of the population over the age of 18 – or 205.4 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 69% of the same group – or 178.1 million people – is fully vaccinated.

More than 3.84 billion people across the globe  have received a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, a figure that roughly equates to 50% of the world’s population, a 0.1 percentage point increase in the past 24 hours. There remains, however, a countries such as Canada, China, Denmark, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States, where at least 65% of the population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine, and countries such as Ethiopia, Haiti, Syria, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda, for example, where vaccination rates are in the single digits, if not lower.

Figures from the World Health Organization show that well-off countries are vaccinating people at the rate of one person per second, while the majority of poor countries have yet to give a single dose to its citizens.

It is critical that the world do a better job of sharing vaccines with poorer nations.

Sharing vaccines is not merely a form of charity.  Rather, the equitable distribution of vaccines is in every country’s health and economic interest and no country will be able to move past the pandemic until other countries have recovered as well.

Jonathan Spira contributed to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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