How the UK compares to the rest of the world with its vaccination programme

The UK has vaccinated more people than the rest of Europe, according to the latest data.

As countries around the world battle to immunize people against coronavirus, there are huge differences in the pace of vaccine adoption.

Israel and the UK are the European countries that have given the most vaccine doses to date, while France and the Netherlands are among the slowest.

As of December 27, the last date UK data are available, the UK had administered 944,539 doses of vaccine, representing 1.4% of the population.

Number of people vaccinated

England December 27th 786,000
Northern Ireland

December 27th


December 27th


December 27th


The only countries that had given more vaccinations were the United States (1.94 million) and China (1.5 million).

It should be noted that the figures refer to the total number of vaccine doses given. This is counted as a single dose and may not equal the total number of people vaccinated, depending on the specific dose regimen (e.g. people are given multiple doses).

The UK was the first country in the world to approve the use of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNtech. The vaccinations began in earnest on December 8th.

As of December 27, just over 35,000 people in Wales had been vaccinated with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. This compared to around 21,500 in Germany and just over 6,000 in Denmark, the only other European countries that had started vaccinating at this point.

In France, only 332 people were vaccinated in the first five days of their vaccine rollout campaign, which began on December 27.

Vaccinations in Europe

The EU bloc as a whole only ordered 300 million doses of the BioNTech Pfizer vaccine in the summer on the assumption that more vaccine alternatives would be available.

While the EU has been asked to approve the Oxford Astrazeneca vaccine as soon as possible, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said it is unlikely that the Oxford Astrazeneca vaccine will be approved within the next month. However, Moderna’s mRNA-1273 COVID-19 vaccine could be approved as early as January 6th.

While the UK data has not yet been updated for early January, charts from Our World in Data, a vaccination tracking website published by Oxford University, show the current situation.

Italy, Europe’s hardest hit country with nearly 75,000 deaths attributed to Covid-19, has vaccinated over 79,000 people so far.

Denmark has the highest vaccination rate among the EU Member States. More than 45,800 of the country’s 5.8 million residents had received the sting by January 2, representing a vaccination rate of 0.78%.

In absolute terms, however, Germany has issued the most vaccine doses. According to the Robert Kock Institute, more than 188,500 had been administered as of January 1.

The Netherlands will start their vaccination campaign on January 8th.

According to UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock, more than a million doses of vaccine had been administered across the UK by January 1, 2021. And that is expected to accelerate dramatically in the coming weeks following the announcement of the Covid-19 vaccine that Oxford University and AstraZeneca are now approved for use in the UK.

A laboratory in North Wales in Wrexham becomes the epicenter of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The facility was heralded as “saving humanity” during a pre-production visit by the Prime Minister and Welsh Secretary of State.

Health Minister Vaughan Gething said during the daily briefing on January 4th, 22,000 doses of the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine have already been dispensed in Wales.

However, when asked about a final schedule for vaccine delivery, Mr. Gething would not be dragged. Mr Gething said he understood why there was pressure to “have numbers” but added that the Welsh government was “building a whole new process” and had only “three and a half weeks” to work through it.

He reiterated that the government was working to dispose of the vaccine as soon as possible and that milestones would be published.

“As we near the delivery of the nursing home, we will confirm when it will,” he said, adding that it would be more harmful to give an artificial figure “out of the air”.

The UK government has procured vaccines on behalf of all parts of the country and is working with the decentralized administrations to ensure that they are used across the UK. It has announced that priority will be given to groups at greatest risk, which will be informed on the recommendation of the Joint Vaccination and Vaccination Committee.

While the four nations of the UK were the first in the world to give a Covid vaccine, has the rest of the world started catching up?

The UK vaccination dates won’t update until Jan. 7, but charts from Our World in Data show some smaller countries dramatically outperforming the US, Canada and several European countries in their national vaccination campaigns.

At the start of the new year, China was the US with 4.5 million cans, the US with 4.23 million cans, Israel with 1.09 million cans, and Russia with 800,000 cans.

Israel is vaccinating its population so quickly that it is reportedly out of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

The US vaccination rate is around 1% of the population compared to Israel, which reached 12% of its population with the initial dose. Since the campaign launched on December 20, Israel has repeatedly exceeded its goal of 150,000 vaccinations per day.

“We are leaders and will be the first to escape the corona,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted on Saturday.

AstraZeneca expects to produce a total of around 3 billion cans for worldwide use over the next year, of which the UK government has bought 100 million cans.

So far, through agreements with seven different vaccine developers, the UK government has secured access to a total of 357 million vaccine doses for all UK nations, giving the UK the “best chance of getting a safe and effective vaccine at the fastest rate”.

Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said: “Vaccine development and distribution is our way out of the pandemic, so the launch of Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine across Wales is fantastic news.

“The UK government has sourced and paid for millions of doses of this vaccine for all parts of the UK and it has been distributed as soon as possible. With vaccine production taking place in Wrexham, Wales is at the forefront of the fight against the vaccines from the Covid19 pandemic.”


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