Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Chart of the Day
13 September 2021

How the UK has been overtaken by other European countries on Covid-19 vaccines

Most major western European countries have now vaccinated a higher share of their populations than the UK.

By Ben van der Merwe

As the government prepares to outline its Covid-19 winter roadmap, the UK’s vaccination campaign continues to slow. The UK was the most vaccinated country in Europe until July, but has since been overtaken by most other western European countries. According to the most recent available data, 71 per cent of the UK’s population have received at least one dose, compared with 73 per cent in France and 79 per cent in Spain. Germany continues to lag behind, with just 66 per cent of its population at least partially vaccinated.

Since the beginning of September, an average of 98,000 people in the UK have received their second dose each day, down from an average of 148,000 throughout August and 170,000 in July.

Just 1,643 doses are currently being administered per million people each day, compared with over 4,000 per day in Italy, France, Spain and Portugal – all of which have already vaccinated a higher share of their populations.

The difference is partially due to the UK’s slow rates of vaccination among younger people. No more than 20 per cent of children in England aged 12-17 had received their first dose by 5 September, compared with 60 per cent in Italy and 66 per cent in France.

[See also: How Covid-19 vaccines dramatically reduce death rates]

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Content from our partners
How to create a responsible form of “buy now, pay later”
“Unions are helping improve conditions for drivers like me”
Transport is the core of levelling up