Israel, the UK and Chile are world-leaders in terms of administering Covid-19 vaccines – but when it comes to getting life back to normal, the three countries are seeing very different results.
Israel’s successful vaccination drive has given over 60 percent of its population at least one jab. In the UK, around 47 percent of people have been given a single dose, while that figure is around 35 percent amongst Chileans. But while Israel has begun to ease lockdown measures and re-open its economy, Chile has recently implemented new restrictions, and last week recorded 49,542 new Covid-19 cases – the highest weekly levels since the start of the pandemic.
The UK is currently somewhere in the middle of the two – a low infection rate like Israel, but with restrictions in place – with fears about a third wave of coronavirus infections leading to officials taking a cautious approach to relaxing measures. However, with the UK having given at least one dose to over 47 percent of its population, the Prime Minister has come under fire from MPs in his own Conservative party for the time it is taking to ease restrictions, with some saying the country could be left in a state of never-ending ‘demi-lockdown’ amid fears of a third Covid wave.
Speaking on Monday, England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty pointed to Chile as a warning that a quick vaccine roll-out does not necessarily guard against future outbreaks of the virus, which has killed over 3 million people worldwide. ‘We absolutely need to learn from those countries that are far ahead of us in terms of or alongside us in terms of vaccine rollout,’ he said, speaking during a news conference on Monday from Downing Street.