The world’s covid-19 vaccination rate stands at just 13.4%, a stubbornly low number that needs to improve before we can declare the coronavirus pandemic behind us. But some countries have done exceedingly well at getting their populations protected.
Some countries have gotten large percentages of their populations fully vaccinated because they have relatively small populations. Others have great health care systems compared to the rest of the world. And others, like the U.S., Spain, and UK, are wealthy countries that got hit very hard by the pandemic and ordered plenty of vaccines to make sure there was a lot to go around.
The list below, showing how much of the eligible population in each country is fully vaccinated, is based on data from Johns Hopkins University, which has been tracking the covid-19 pandemic since before it was even called the covid-19 pandemic. We’ve also listed the total population of each country to better put things in perspective.
- Malta – 72.2%, population: 502,000
- Seychelles – 70.22%, population: 97,000
- Iceland – 69.79%, population: 357,000
- United Arab Emirates – 69.24%, population: 9.7 million
- San Marino – 67.4%, population: 34,000
- Bahrain – 63.26%, population: 1.6 million
- Chile – 61.91%, population: 18.9 million
- Uruguay – 60.95%, population: 3.4 million
- Qatar – 58.57%, population: 2.8 million
- Israel – 58.36%, population: 9 million
- Mongolia – 58.33%, population: 3.2 million
- Hungary – 54.84%, population: 9.7 million
- United Kingdom – 54.74%, population: 56.6 million
- Canada – 53.53%, population: 37.5 million
- Spain – 53.23%, population: 46.9 million
- Belgium – 50.43%, population: 11.4 million
- Ireland – 50.40%, population: 4.9 million
- United States – 49.41%, population: 328 million
- Maldives – 49.02%, population: 531,000
- Portugal – 48.98%, population: 10.2 million
- Singapore – 48.96%, population: 5.7 million
- Germany – 48.56%, population: 83 million
- Denmark – 48.48%, population: 5.8 million
- Liechtenstein – 47.99%, population: 38,000
- Monaco – 47.85%, population: 39,000
Where are the worst vaccination rates? The bottom of the list is dominated by low-income countries that have struggled with getting doses, such as Uganda, Papua New Guinea, and South Sudan. But among wealthy countries, there are still plenty of nations with very little excuse for their poor vaccination rates.
As one example, Australia’s vaccination rate is just 12.18%, according to Johns Hopkins University. And yet Australia is a tremendously wealthy country. What went wrong? The federal government simply didn’t order enough vaccine doses, putting most of its eggs in one basket—the AstraZeneca vaccine, which many Australians have become afraid of over extremely rare side effects.
Money isn’t the only thing that will get the world through this pandemic, as we can see with Australia’s example, but it certainly helps. And the pandemic isn’t truly over until it’s over for everyone around the world. Sadly, we have a long way to go.