South America winning the global vaccination race

i24NEWS - Reuters

3 min read
Students walk past games that are off-limits at a school where gradual, voluntary, in-person classes restarted for a second time this school year amid the Covid pandemic in Santiago, Chile, July 26, 2021.
AP Photo/Esteban FelixStudents walk past games that are off-limits at a school where gradual, voluntary, in-person classes restarted for a second time this school year amid the Covid pandemic in Santiago, Chile, July 26, 2021.

63.3 percent of South America's population is fully inoculated

South America is the most vaccinated region in the world, with 63.3 percent of its population fully inoculated, according to the Our World in Data project.

Europe comes in second with 60.7 percent, and Africa is among the lowest rates with just 8.8 percent of its population completely vaccinated.

The country with the highest share of people vaccinated is the United Arab Emirates with 91 percent of its population fully inoculated.

Throughout much of 2020 and early 2021, South America was ground zero in the global fight against Covid, Reuters reported.

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Brazil, the largest country in Latin America, saw its Covid death toll rise to the second-highest in the world while Argentina and Peru reported some of the heaviest death per capita figures.

But in recent months, the region emerged as the leader in the vaccination race.

Today, in some major cities in Brazil, over 99 percent of the adult population received at least one dose.

Infection and death rates plummeted in Latin America and the Caribbean compared to the middle of the year when the region accounted for almost half of global deaths and infections.

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Epidemiologists point to several factors to explain the vaccination surge.

The most important, they say, is the region’s history of successful inoculation campaigns that created the infrastructure needed to deliver jabs to the masses, while instilling trust among the people.

"This confidence, built up over several years, is based on the benefits of our extensive vaccination schedule," said Leda Guzzi, a Buenos Aires-based infectious disease expert.