Vials of potential COVID-19 vaccine CoronaVac are seen on the production line at Sinovac Biotech production facility during a media tour on September 24, 2020 in Beijing, China; Image: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images
Vaccine status: Not yet taken the vaccine as they only started vaccinating foreigners a month ago. They started with medical frontline workers in July 2020 and then opened it up to people between 18-59 years. Unlike other countries, China opened up vaccination to its elderly (above 60 years) only from March.Cost of vaccine: Covered under Chinese social insurance The process: For locals there are two apps for registration and for foreigners there is one app. A foreigner in Shanghai can register on the Jiankang Yun Health app and find a slot for vaccination. At the vaccination centre the nurse checks the documents and notes down the batch number. The batch number is then scanned on the computer which takes the photograph of the person and confirms all the personal details, and then the person is vaccinated. Share of citizens who have received at least one dose (as of May 17)*: Not available, 43.6 crore doses administered Status of Covid-19: While there is no lockdown in Guangzhou, everyone in the city has a code that they have to provide to enter any mall, shop, restaurant or even a residence area. Without the health code’s green go-ahead, one cannot enter any place. Travel to another city requires a negative Covid test report from a government hospital.
Vaccine status: Taken the first dose in the first week of May.Cost of vaccine: Free The process: Germany listed four priority groups for vaccinations: First, the elderly above 80 years and medical professionals; the second, people aged between 70 and 80 years, younger people with medical conditions and those living with frontline workers. The third group includes non-medical frontline workers like kindergarten teachers, essential services workers and the fourth group includes everyone in the country. While Germany faced a vaccine shortage during the early phase of its inoculation process, it is now vaccinating the second and third category and plans to open up vaccination for all by June. Share of citizens who have received at least one dose (as of May 17)*: 37.87 percent Status of Covid-19: Banerjee says, “I have rarely met anyone over the last month.” Germany has restrictions on meeting people and depending upon infection cases (above 165 cases) all shops except grocery stores, pharmacies and drugstores, banks, bookstores and post offices are closed. Fully vaccinated and recovered citizens are exempted from restrictions but one has to check the city/ health website daily to assess if there is a complete shutdown for the day or if offices are open. In Jena and other municipalities in Germany it is mandatory to use N95 or FFP2 grade masks, cloth masks are not allowed in public places.
Vaccine status: Taken first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on April 4 and the second dose was administered 21 days post the first dose, on April 26.Cost of vaccine: Free for all citizens and long-term pass holders.
The process: The government announces the category being vaccinated through the Ministry of Health website and via SMS updates to its citizens. Accordingly, the candidate must register for the vaccination and get an appointment. One can select the vaccine of choice (if available) and the venue.
Share of citizens who have received at least one dose (as of May 17)*: 33.61 percent
Status of Covid-19: On May 18, Singapore registered 38 cases, one of its highest daily counts in the last eight months. It shut schools till May 28 and immediately put in place new restrictions which include only two people can meet outside from its previous eight till now. It has also closed restaurant dine-ins and gyms in the wake of new cases.
SINT MAARTEN, NETHERLANDS ANTILLES
Vaccine status: “Not taken as I had to travel immediately and that would have meant that I wouldn’t be around to take the second vaccine. But I had got my first appointment for April first week.”Cost of vaccine: Free
The process: Vaccinations were opened first for frontline workers, government officials, senior citizens, people with underlying conditions and then to the rest. There are four vaccination centres and limited doses are administered per day to avoid overcrowding. The government has an app where everyone has to register. “It had taken 15 days to get my appointment. They are administering only the Pfizer vaccine,” says the store manager.
Share of citizens who have received at least one dose (as of May 17)*: 35.69 percent
Status of Covid-19: There is no lockdown on the island and all businesses have started to open, life is back to normal now.
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
Vaccine status: Not taken as vaccination is currently open for second phase. “I will be eligible during the third phase which is expected to open up in late October.”Cost of vaccine: Free
The process: South Africa started its vaccination process in February by inoculating its frontline health workers. There are 1.25 million health workers in the country. The second phase, which started from May 17, includes senior citizens above 60 years, essential workers, people with co-morbidities and those who are in congregated settings. This second phase will go on from May 17 till mid-October, which is when the third phase will start, targeting people above 18.
J&J vaccines are manufactured in South Africa under a contract with Aspen Pharmacare at its facility in Port Elizabeth. Aspen will be manufacturing 100 million doses of J&J’s vaccines out of which 31 million will go to South Africa and the rest will go to the rest of Africa.
Share of citizens who have received at least one dose (as of May 17)*: 0.88 percent
Status of Covid-19: Currently, the country only has a night curfew from 12 am to 4 am but outside of those restrictions people are free to move about and meet family and friends. The majority of people are still working from home. As cases reduced, the lockdown was eased but quite uniquely, South Africa’s lockdown imposed, among other things, a complete ban on sale of tobacco and alcohol. Those rules are now relaxed (the tobacco ban was lifted in August) and the alcohol ban continued intermittently till January.
Vaccine status: First dose of Pzifer vaccine taken on March 1 and the second dose on April 5.Cost of vaccine: Free
The process: In the beginning there were vaccine shortages but over time the process has been streamlined, says Subramanian who received the dose in the first target group due to her co-morbidities. Switzerland started vaccinating its first target group from January 4 this year. In this category people above 75 years, people with high-risk chronic diseases regardless of age, people in retirement and care homes and their staff were vaccinated. It is currently vaccinating people with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. People can register by either calling the call centre or through an app.
Share of citizens who have received at least one dose (as of May 17)*: 28.16 percent
Status of Covid-19: Switzerland has put in place various exemptions for fully vaccinated people which include allowing them to attend gatherings without masks with other fully vaccinated people. For gatherings, 10 people are allowed and the state is still following some strict measures to curtail the spread of the virus.
Vaccine status: First dose of Sinopharm taken in March.Cost of vaccine: Free
The process: The ministry of health has an app for bookings, but Ansar booked vaccination slots for himself and his family at a private hospital. “They tested the blood pressure and asked about all the allergies one may have and then we were taken to another room where vaccination took place,” says Ansar. As per the protocol being observed globally, Ansar and his family were asked to wait for 30 minutes before they could leave the centre with their stamped documents. In the early days, when the likes of Ansar took the vaccine, UAE had access to only Sinopharm, now it has added Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccines.
Share of citizens who have received at least one dose (as of May 17)*: 58.8 percent
Status of Covid-19: UAE has one of the highest vaccination percentages in the world and it has recently announced measures to open up the hospitality sector, allowing 10 diners at a table and weddings with a capacity of 100 guests. On May 20, it tested 2.44 lakh people and detected 1,401 cases for the day. It has 18,329 total active cases.
Vaccine status: “Not yet taken as they are currently vaccinating those over 50 years but we are hopeful that by June it will open up for others,” says Sudhanshu V.Cost of vaccine: Free
The process: There is a government portal where one has to register. In Belgium everyone has an e-ID, so the government sends an invitation with a code and the date and time of the vaccination to a person’s registered address and via SMS or email after which they have to register, and if required, they can ask for a different slot. “Once you receive the invitation you can go and take the vaccine. They started with AstraZeneca but they are also giving Pfizer and the J&J vaccine,” says Sudhanshu. As with other countries it first inoculated its frontline workers and care givers and now are finishing vaccinating the elderly before they move to other age groups.
Share of citizens who have received at least one dose (as of May 17)*: 13.1 percent
Status of Covid-19: As on May 18, Belgium has partly vaccinated 36.05 percent of its population and has fully vaccinated 13.1 percent. The country has been maintaining strict measures since last year: For example for shopping you can shop with maximum one person who must be living with you. In restaurants you are allowed to sit at a table in groups of maximum four people or with the people you live with.
LEAMINGTON SPA, ENGLAND