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1 June 2021

How Wales leads the world in the Covid-19 vaccine race

Nearly 85 per cent of Welsh adults have received at least one vaccine dose. 

By Nick Ferris

Wales has now vaccinated a greater share of its total population than any other country with more than one million people. Some 67.9 per cent of the 3.1 million people living in Wales have received a jab, compared to 63 per cent in second-placed Israel, 57.7 per cent in Canada and 56.7 per cent in Mongolia. 

Wales is winning the global vaccination race
Top 10 countries of more than 1 million people by share of population with at least one Covid-19 vaccine, 30 May 2021 (per cent)
ONS, coronavirus.data.gov.uk, Our World In Data, New Statesman analysis

Nearly 85 per cent of adults in Wales have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, compared to 74.4 per cent in England, 73.3 per cent in Scotland, and 72.2 per cent in Northern Ireland. 

Strategy consultant Paul Mainwood told the BBC last week that Wales’s success was likely due to the speed with which it had processed vaccines. The country usually administers vaccinations within a few days of receiving its allocation, compared to 10 to12 days in the case of the other UK nations. 

Wales’ rapid roll-out also means that 55.3 per cent of those aged 18 to 30 have received a jab, when in England vaccinations have yet to be opened to under-30s.

The World Health Organisation last week urged Wales to donate vaccines to low-income countries after First Minister Mark Drakeford said the country would soon start vaccinating children.

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[See also: Why delaying the 21 June unlocking is such a political headache for Boris Johnson]

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