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The COVID-19 Vaccination Race in Asia

This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Katharina Buchholz

Vaccinations against the coronavirus have progressed quite sluggishly in Asia. The highest achievers so far have – predictably - been micronations and island states like the Seychelles, the Maldives or Singapore. While the latter had given out almost 86 doses per 100 of population as June 21, the Maldives and the Seychelles most recently reached around 92 and 140, respectively. Mongolia, a country of less than 3.5 million people, reached 110 doses per 100 of population. China - which administered its billionth dose Saturday - came pretty close to the continent's small overachievers at around 73 doses given out as of Monday. This is according to data collected by research project Our World in Data.

China has been instrumental in giving the Seychelles vaccination campaign a head start and is also supplying Indonesia and Cambodia with its locally developed vaccines. Singapore, like South Korea and Japan, relied on vaccines from the U.S. and Europe.

India has helped neighbors and allies out with its locally produced AstraZeneca vaccine, dubbed Covishield, and also has a locally developed vaccine at its disposal. A federal vaccination drive gave inoculations a significant bump on its first day Monday, which saw vaccination doses per 100 of population rise by 3.3 percent in a single day. This was topped by the rise in vaccinations in Japan, however. The country is speeding up vaccinations as it prepares for the opening of the Olympic Summer Games in July. Despite the mega-event coming up, Japan's vaccination numbers have remained quite low in comparison at around 26 doses per 100 people.

Independent of where they are getting their vaccines, there have been some late starters in Asia. Among them are Vietnam, Taiwan and Pakistan. While the first two countries have experienced very low coronavirus infections numbers, Pakistan has been hit harder but didn't get a good vaccination supply, potentially because it is neither allied with China nor India.

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