Apr 26, 2021 - World

1 billion vaccine doses have now been given, mainly to the rich

COVID-19 vaccinations by country
Note: This map represents the total number of vaccines administered, not people vaccinated; Data: Our World in Data; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The world has now crossed 1 billion total vaccines administered.

Breaking it down: Nearly half of those have come in the U.S. (29%), EU (13%) and U.K. (5%), with other rich countries also sprinting ahead. Another 22% have come in China and 14% in India. Africa, meanwhile, represents just 1.6% of vaccinations to date.

One reason is that the COVAX initiative, designed to ensure that every country has access to vaccines, is just 16% of the way to its distribution target for the first half of 2021.

  • That's due in large part to the fact that India — by far the largest provider of COVAX doses — went from exporting 77% of its production before March 15 to 7% over the past month, per Airfinity. India has curbed exports to fight the surge at home.
  • If India continues to keep nearly all of its production, Airfinity projects there would be enough supply to cover people over 60 by May and the entire adult population by November.
  • But African CDC Director John Nkengasong and other public health officials have called on India to lift the export restrictions, noting that a prolonged delay could be catastrophic for countries that are counting on COVAX.

What to watch: The main issue facing COVAX right now isn’t funding but securing reliable sources of vaccines.

  • It remains to be seen whether the U.S. will share the 60 million AstraZeneca doses it plans to export through COVAX or bilateral arrangements with individual countries.

Go deeper: Biden's move to share vaccine doses could be a global game changer

Go deeper