We are not alone in this Covid pandemic, although it sometimes feels that way and that it will never end. Waiting for the call to be vaccinated in Inyo and Mono County seems like it will take forever. Best prediction so far is that most, if not all those wanting it in the two counties will have it no later than by mid- to late-summer. Rich countries like the U.S. and most of Europe are lucky; other people living in poorer countries, not so much. The following article and graphic from Statistica shows just how “lucky” we truly are. And why would it be a problem for us here in the Eastern Sierra? The virus has shown no respect for borders. Large numbers of unvaccinated people in other countries pose a risk. And then there are the variants of COVID-19 to contend with as well. We will beat this thing, but no one should think it will be easy.
While major economies in Latin America are expected to achieve widespread coverage by mid-2022, the picture looks bleaker in Asia. Most emerging economies here are expected to take until the end of next year to achieve the feat. Even in the region’s advanced economies, vaccinations are starting up slower than elsewhere. Japan will only start its campaign in late February and is expected to arrive at majority immunization by mid-2022, just like South Korea and Vietnam. Only the region’s city states and Taiwan are expected to have vaccinated 60-70 percent of their adult populations by the end of 2021.
Most European nations as well as the U.S., Israel and the Gulf states are on this trajectory as well, according to the EIU. Yet, problem of supply and (fair) distribution of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines could cause some delays here. Currently, the UK has been getting ahead of its European peers in vaccination speed but stands accused of being favored by AstraZeneca (whose vaccine was developed together with the University of Oxford).
In many of the world’s developing nations, the vaccination timeline is expected to extend into 2023. This includes large parts of Africa. While the cheap and easy-to-store AstraZeneca variety will be given out to poorer countries through the Covax initiative, Russia, India and China are also vying for contracts for their vaccine varieties in what the EIU dubs a boom of vaccine diplomacy.
While the Chinese vaccine by Sinopharm has already been approved in Egypt and is also expected to go to Peru, Morocco and Hungary, another Chinese variety, Sinovac, will ship in significant volumes to Indonesia, Brazil, Chile, Turkey and the Philippines. Russia’s biggest contracts are with India and Vietnam, while India will ship to Brazil.