Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!
Expand chart

America’s much-maligned vaccine rollout is actually going relatively well, at least compared to other wealthy countries.

The big picture: The U.S. has carried out more vaccinations than any country in the world, and given a first dose to a higher percentage of its population (12%) than all but five countries: Israel, the Seychelles, the UAE, the U.K. and Bahrain.

  • In fact, the U.S. is distributing doses three times as quickly as the EU, adjusted for population, and nearly five times as quickly as Canada.

The backstory: The U.S. has some major advantages over most of the world. Not only does America have the money to reserve more doses than it could possibly use, it also has the capacity to manufacture them domestically.

  • Canada’s slow rollout and the recent dispute over doses between the EU and U.K. have underlined the difficulties of relying on imports.
  • The U.S. also made massive bulk purchases early — through the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed — and thus ramped up production capacity while securing its spot at the front of the line.
  • The EU moved more slowly both in securing contracts and in approving vaccines, and has paid a price. Israel, by contrast, paid a premium and promised valuable data to get Pfizer’s vaccine early.
  • It also helps that the two most effective vaccines on the market were developed entirely (Moderna) or partially (Pfizer/BioNTech) in the U.S.

Between the lines: Despite crumbling infrastructure and chaotic politics, the U.S. remains a scientific, technological and manufacturing powerhouse. That has played to its advantage, as has the sense of urgency with which the U.S. approached the vaccination challenge.

  • Some wealthy countries that haven't been hit as hard by the pandemic, like Japan and South Korea, have been much slower to administer vaccines.
Data: Duke Global Health Innovation Center; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Yes, but: The U.S. has secured world-leading vaccine supplies, but been somewhat less successful at translating them into actual vaccinations.

  • The most impressive rollouts have tended to come in countries with modern, centralized public health care infrastructure, making it easier to identify who's eligible for vaccinations and where to administer them. America's approach has at times appeared clunky by comparison.
  • President Biden has accused his predecessor of failing to develop a national distribution strategy, and promised to ramp things up quickly.

What to watch: If Biden's plan to vaccinate every willing American by July comes to fruition, the U.S. will likely be far ahead of nearly every other large country, including China.

The bottom line: America’s vaccine rollout has been imperfect, unequal, and at times deeply frustrating. But look around the world and it’s clear that it could be going a whole lot worse.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Feb 20, 2021 - Health

Breaking down the psychology of vaccine hesitancy

A woman receives a COVID-19 vaccine from a U.S. service member in Boston on Feb. 16. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

A new survey identifies some of the psychological barriers to taking vaccines — and how to overcome them.

The big picture: With COVID vaccine production and distribution ramping up, we're going to reach a moment when supply exceeds demand, which puts a premium on finding ways to persuade the persuadable on the value of vaccines.

Cyberattack forces shutdown of major U.S. fuel pipeline

A police officer stands guard inside the gate to the Colonial Pipeline Co. Pelham junction and tank farm in Pelham, Alabama, in 2016. Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A major U.S. fuel pipeline running from Texas to New York has been taken offline by its operator because of an apparent cyberattack.

The big picture: Colonial Pipeline "carries 45 percent of the East Coast’s fuel supplies," the N.Y. Times reports.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Health

The end of quarantine

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Long quarantines were a necessary tool to slow the COVID-19 pandemic during its first phases, but better and faster tests — plus vaccines — mean they can be scaled back considerably.

Why it matters: Quick tests and regular surveillance methods that identify who is actually infectious can take the place of the two-week or longer isolation periods that have been common for travelers and people who might have been exposed to the virus, speeding the safe reopening of schools and workplaces.