Israel, US now lag behind rest of world in vaccine coverage

After a fast & early start, other countries who went slow & steady are doing better, New York Times reports.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Pence publicly receives Covid vaccine
Pence publicly receives Covid vaccine
Doug Mills/Pool/Sipa USA

After an impressive start, the United States and Israel are apparently no longer head of the global pack in terms of coronavirus vaccination, the New York Times has reported.

The United States was one of the first countries to commence its vaccination campaign which had reached 67 percent of its population by summer with a first dose. However, from then onward, the pace slowed, to the point that now, according to data compiled by Oxford University, it lags behind much of the world even though from a logistical standpoint it still enjoys significant advantages such as a surplus of vaccination doses – that is, in comparison to the demand for them.

According to the Times, just 57 percent of eligible Americans are currently considered “fully vaccinated.” Many segments of the population remain strongly opposed to vaccination including police and fire fighters, despite looming vaccine mandates that may threaten their livelihoods if they continue to hold out.

Israel, too, started its vaccination campaign relatively early and at incredible speed, such that by today around half of the eligible population has already had a third or booster shot. However, the momentum has now stalled with many in the Arab and haredi sectors and also younger people reluctant to “top up” their two doses, such that only 63 percent of the population is now considered “fully vaccinated,” a lower proportion than around forty other countries such as Italy and South Korea. Nonetheless, this number refers to the entire population which includes a larger proportion of children than many other countries; since children under the age of 12 are not yet eligible for the vaccine, the percentage of vaccine compliance is actually higher than it appears.

All the same, the Times appears to credit other countries for their more systematic vaccination campaigns that have apparently proven more effective in the long-run than “warp-speed” operations.

The article also blames “toxic politics” for the reluctance of many in the United States to be vaccinated, as well as “fake news” on social media and an alleged lack of effective marketing of the vaccines on the part of the government. Every country has its vaccine-opponents, but in most countries, they are a small minority, according to John Swartzberg, a public health expert in the University of California, who sees the recent growth of the “non-compliant” sector as troubling.

The article concludes with a comparison of countries like Italy and France which imposed draconian laws in order to force compliance, and countries in Asia, for example, where logistical complications delayed their vaccination campaigns. In Israel and the United States, the Times attributes the current situation to the failure of their governments to persuade people to get vaccinated.