Vaccinations in Johannesburg
Vaccinations at the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg on 8 April 2021. (Photo by Deaan Vivier/Beeld/Gallo Images)
  • With Covid-19 vaccines unpaused, South Africa just surpassed 300,000 doses delivered.
  • That comes to about half a dose of coronavirus vaccine administered per resident.
  • In regional terms, South Africa is last – by a long way – in the speed of its vaccine rollout.
  • It is also significantly slower than other countries on the continent, and its BRICS peers.
  • A growing number of small island states have delivered at least one dose, on average, to each person within its borders.
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With the use of the J&J vaccine unpaused, South Africa on Thursday hit a total of more than 300,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines administered.

On a per-population measure widely used to compare the rate of vaccination between countries, that equates to 0.5 doses per 100 residents – a rate slower than all its neighbours and chosen peers.

South Africa lags far, far behind the rest of the Brics countries with which it considers itself aligned. In Brazil, total doses administered come to more than 19 per 100 people, for Russia that number is above 13, and India is approaching 11 doses per 100 people.

South Africa also ranks very low in regional and continental terms. Every neighbouring country has administered more doses per person than South Africa, with Zimbabwe above 3 doses per 100 people, and Namibia just barely above South Africa's level of vaccination.

Other countries on the continent significantly further down the line with vaccinations include Angola, Djibouti, Ghana, and Senegal. 

A set of mostly small island states have officially administered at least one vaccine dose for each resident. In most cases that means two doses for a large section of high-priority recipients, coupled with rapid rollout of first doses for the broader population.

Vaccination rates for selected countries, as of 30
Vaccination rates for selected countries, as of 30 April.

The countries and territories that have officially exceeded one does per person are:

  • Gibraltar
  • Falkland Islands
  • Seychelles
  • Israel
  • Palau
  • United Arab Emirates
  • St Helena
  • Cayman Islands

This list of countries that have reached 80 doses or more for every 100 residents is also made up of island states:

  • Ascension
  • Bermuda
  • Isle of Man
  • San Marino

Excluding very small nations, three developing nations have reached more than 50 doses administered per 100 people: Bhutan, Chile, and Uruguay.

(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

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