Which country stands where in the coronavirus vaccination race?
The breakthrough in the struggle came when Pfizer/BioNTech published its first results in November. Photo: Reuters/File
  • Pakistan said its COVID-19 vaccine will be available in two months

Amid the mushrooming numbers of COVID-19 cases in the second wave of the novel coronavirus, countries around the world are in a constant struggle to roll out the vaccine as soon as possible.

The breakthrough in the struggle came when Pfizer/BioNTech published its first results in November. They showed the vaccine is up to 95% effective and about 43,000 people have had the vaccine with no safety concerns yet. 

However, here’s an update of which country is doing what regarding coronavirus vaccine trials.

PAKISTAN:  COVID-19 vaccine to be available within two months

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s National Task Force on Science and Technology Chairperson Dr Atta-ur-Rehman has said that the coronavirus vaccine will be available in Pakistan in the next two months.

Dr Rehman said on Monday that the richer and bigger countries have already paid for the COVID-19 vaccine. “It will take time for smaller countries to procure the vaccine,” he said, adding that Pakistan will have to try hard itself to procure it.

The scientist explained that dispensing the vaccine will be a lengthy procedure because of the country’s population. 

USA: First US vaccine shipments raise hopes

Cargo planes and trucks with the first US shipments of coronavirus vaccine fanned out from FedEx and UPS hubs in Tennessee and Kentucky on Sunday en route to the first 145 of 636 distribution points, launching an immunization project of unprecedented scope and complexity.

The inoculations, seen as pivotal to ultimately halting a surging pandemic that is claiming more than 2,400 US lives a day, could begin as early as Monday. 

Healthcare workers and elderly residents of long-term care homes will be first in line to get the inoculations of a two-dose regimen given about three weeks apart.

Read more: Big development: US approves use of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine

The United States expects to have immunized 100 million people with the coronavirus vaccine by the end of March, the chief adviser for the U.S. COVID-19 vaccine program said on Sunday. 

For the United States to get “herd immunity,” which would halt transmission of the deadly virus, it would need to have immunized about 75% or 80% of the population, he said, adding that he hoped to reach that point between May and June.

CANADA: The first batch of Pfizer/BioNTEch COVID-19 vaccines arrives today

The first COVID-19 vaccines landed on Canadian soil,  Prime Minister said, and some Canadians are expected to roll up their sleeves for a shot as soon as Monday [tomorrow].

“The first batch of doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine have arrived in Canada,” Trudeau said on Twitter on Sunday night above a picture of a cargo plane apparently used to transport the vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc and Germany’s BioNTech SE.

The initial 30,000 doses will go to 14 sites across Canada. The most vulnerable people, including the elderly in long-term care facilities and healthcare workers, will be first in line for shots.

The vaccines left Belgium, where they were produced, on Friday, and traveled to Germany and the United States before being split up and sent to different parts of Canada.

BRAZIL: Vaccination plan assailed as ‘incompetent’

President faced scathing criticism Sunday over his government’s plan, or lack thereof, opponents said, to vaccinate the population against COVID-19 in Brazil, the country with the second-highest death toll worldwide.

Read more: Pfizer coronavirus vaccine over 90% effective, says manufacturer

Brazil published its vaccination plan Saturday with notable holes, including a start date and details of how to reach its target of 70% of the population.

That prompted a new salvo of criticism of the far-right president, who has persistently defied expert advice on containing the pandemic and recently declared he did not plan to be vaccinated.

“Enough shenanigans with the vaccine!” leading newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo said in a front-page editorial.

“President ’s murderous stupidity in the face of the coronavirus pandemic has surpassed all limits.”

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