Data Focus

36 countries administering booster doses of Covid vaccine

Annapurani V Chennai | Updated on October 25, 2021

A nurse administers a dose of Covid-19 vaccine in Guwahati, Sunday, October 24   -  PTI

Countries with higher proportion of fully vaccinated population witness rise in cases, fatalities

Coronavirus infections and fatalities have begun to increase again across the world.

The seven-day moving average of the global daily cases shot up from 4,03,293 on October 15 to 4,21,344 on the 23rd of the month, according to data from Our World in Data. Similarly, the seven-day moving average of global daily fatalities surged to 7,059 on October 23 from 6,693 on the 15th of the month.

This pattern can be observed even among countries that have vaccinated a fairly greater share of their population.

Rise in cases, fatalities

For instance, the UK, which has fully vaccinated more than 68 per cent of its population, as per Bloomberg data, has been seeing infections surge again since mid-September. The seven-day moving average of the number of cases jumped from 29,291 on September 19 to 47,430 on the October 23. Its fatalities have also been rising in the last couple of weeks.

Similarly, France, which has completely inoculated more than 76 per cent of its population, has been seeing infections increase in the last few days again — the seven-day moving average of daily infections climbed to 5,171 on October 23 from 3,964 on October 13. In Germany,which has fully vaccinated 66 per cent of its population, the number of cases has been surging since end-September. Its fatalities have also been slowly increasing over the last few days.

Need for booster doses

As many as 36 countries are now administering booster doses of the Covid vaccine, according to Our World in Data. Germany, Austria, Canada and France are among the first few countries to begin administering the booster shots.

As per the World Health Organization (WHO), booster doses are administered to a vaccinated population — that has completed its primary vaccination process (one dose or two doses based on the vaccine administered) — when the rate of immunity and clinical protection in them has dipped below the required levels over time. The aim of the booster shot is to essentially restore the vaccine’s effectiveness in the body to the necessary levels.

The WHO also states that booster doses may be needed only if “there is evidence of insufficient protection against these disease outcomes over time.” It further elaborates that the degree of waning of immunity and the need for booster shots may differ between vaccines, target populations, the virus in circulation, the variant of concern, and the intensity of exposure.

Countries that lead

Among the 36 countries that are currently administering the Covid-19 booster doses, the US tops the list with 1.24 crore booster doses administered. In the US, while daily cases have been falling over the last month, the fatalities have begun to increase again in the last couple of weeks.

Turkey comes next with 1.19 crore booster shots administered cumulatively, followed by Chile with 47.21 lakh doses, Israel with 38.96 lakh doses and France with 23.32 lakh doses. Improving the coverage of the primary vaccination process in the country, however, gains precedence over administration of booster shots, according to the WHO.

India seems to be on the same page, and is yet to begin administering the booster vaccine doses.

It is currently focusing on improving the primary vaccination coverage of its demography. It has – so far – fully vaccinated 23 per cent of its population and 53.8 per cent of its people have been administered the first dose of the Covid vaccine.


Published on October 25, 2021

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