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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]

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