The global Covid-19 vaccination rate appears to have taken a leap in recent weeks since vaccines were made available, in a positive sign that herd immunity could be achieved this year.
Data from a select list of about 20 countries with populations ranging from 32 million to 60 million also ranked Malaysia highly among countries in terms of the percentage of people who have been administered at least a first dose of vaccine.
Statistics collected by online data centre Our World In Data show that the number of people vaccinated in most countries has doubled in the last one month.
As of May 29, 5.9% of people in Malaysia had received at least a first jab.
Malaysia also overtook Ukraine and South Africa in terms of vaccination rate, despite the earlier start both countries had to their immunisation drive.
While the numbers do not give a complete picture of vaccination success, they provide a quick comparison of rates among countries with population sizes similar to or bigger than Malaysia’s.
Khairy Jamaluddin, the minister in charge of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, recently said that millions more doses of vaccine would be arriving in the next two months, giving a boost to the country’s vaccination rate.
He said Malaysia would soon take delivery of more supplies from at least three companies – Pfizer, Sinovac and AstraZeneca – subject to approval from the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency.
He previously said the vaccination rate would pick up from June onwards once the supply of vaccines stabilises.
“With the rate we are projecting, I’m confident we can get it done by the end of the year,” he had said in response to criticism by former prime minister Najib Razak that Malaysia was lagging behind other countries in achieving herd immunity.