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What happened to UK’s Covid vaccine race? 10 countries surpass Britain with higher rate

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More than 47 million people in the UK have now received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine as part of Britain’s largest and fastest inoculation programme ever launched in the country. But in recent days and weeks, Covid vaccine uptake levels have dipped. So what exactly happened to the UK’s Covid vaccine race and why is the nation performing badly compared to other countries?

Britain is now lagging behind despite being praised as being one of the leading nations in terms of its vaccination efforts.

The UK has given a total of 89,865,264 vaccinations so far – of which 47.7m are first doses and 42m are second doses.

The Covid vaccine is now available to all UK adults and earlier this month the UK hit its Covid vaccine ceiling.

Since that time the nation’s vaccine uptake rate has shown a trend of slowing meaning the country is no longer leading the way in terms of its vaccination record.

On August 24, just 55,410 received a first dose of the Covid vaccine, with 130,676 receiving a second jab.

This is down from a peak in March when more than 750,000 first doses were administered and a peak in May of more than 550,000 second doses were given on a single day.

But the drop-off in uptake is not down to supply issues as experienced in many other countries – it’s down to a lack of demand.

Vaccination uptake in older age groups has begun to flatline – but more concerning is the lack of uptake in younger age groups.

The vaccine was only offered to 16 and 17-year olds across Britain at the start of this month which accounts for the low take-up so far.

The vaccine uptake for the first dose and second dose by age according to 2011 population census data is as follows:

  • Aged 80 and over: First dose – 76.9 percent and second dose – 75.4 percent
  • Aged 70 to 79: First dose – 79.3 percent and second dose – 78.4 percent
  • Aged 60 to 69: First dose – 78.6 percent and second dose – 76.8 percent
  • Aged 50 to 59: First dose – 79.1 percent and second dose – 76.2 percent
  • Aged 40 to 49: First dose – 78 percent and second dose – 72 percent
  • Aged 30 to 39: First dose – 84.2 percent and second dose – 66 percent
  • Aged 18 to 29: First dose – 66.9 percent and second dose – 33.4 percent
  • Aged under 18: First dose – 2.9 percent and second dose – 0.9 percent.

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The UK is currently ranked as the 12th highest country in terms of its share of people vaccinated against coronavirus.

The data compiled by Our World in Data reveals countries’ first and second doses administered in absolute numbers.

According to Our World in Data, the following countries have the top vaccination rates:

  • Portugal: 82 percent vaccinated against COVID-19
  • Qatar: 79 percent
  • Singapore: 78 percent
  • Spain: 77 percent
  • Uruguay: 76 percent
  • Denmark: 76 percent
  • Chile: 75 percent
  • Canada: 73 percent
  • Ireland: 72 percent
  • Belgium: 72 percent
  • France: 70 percent
  • The UK: 70 percent
  • Italy: 69 percent
  • Germany: 64 percent
  • The USA: 60 percent.

According to the total number of doses administered, China has the highest rate at 137.27 per 100 people.

The UK is in second place according to this data set, with 132.1 per 100 people.

This is closely followed by Italy and France at 125.53 and 124.98 per 100 people respectively.

Germany, the USA, Turkey and Japan have the next highest rates of vaccine doses administered at 119.59, 108.81, 107.81 and 96.64 per 100 people.

The UK still has the highest share of its population fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of August 24 at 61.78 percent.

Germany is in second place having fully vaccinated 58.97 percent of its population so far.

Italy, France and China have the next highest levels of two-dose vaccination at 58.8 percent, 56.11 percent and 53.99 percent respectively.

This is followed by the USA at 51.24 percent, Japan at 42.78 percent, Turkey at 42.3 percent and Colombia at 28.01 percent.

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