Vaccine success will lead the way

Which countries initiate and successfully implement their COVID-19 vaccination programme will likely determine which ones will restart tourism and air connections first. And, until a database that aggregates COVID-19 vaccination rates is made available, a platform that tracks the latest announcements is a need of the hour.

Tracking COVID-19 vaccination rates is crucial to understand the scale of protection against the virus, and therefore how quickly can countries reboot air connectivity. A global, aggregated database on COVID-19 vaccination rates is essential to monitor progress, but it is unfortunately not yet available. Until such a database is made available, Our World in Data will track the latest announcements on the first countries to administer these vaccinations.

When considering the number of COVID-19 vaccination doses administered per 100 people within a given population (note that this is counted as a single dose, and may not equal the total number of people vaccinated, depending on the specific dose regime) Israel is the leader with UAE as a far second and Bahrain coming in third.

Global authorisation vax certificate

However, there is another challenge that is beginning to emerge in all this. The UAE gave Sinopharm emergency authorisation in the autumn, and then started vaccinating frontline workers. This led to confusion when a flight attendant went home to Australia and presented her vaccination certificate on arrival in Sydney. Does this mean we will need a globally authorised vaccine certificate that all or a majority of countries can accept?

In addition to the UAE and China, Sinopharm’s vaccine has received emergency approval in Bahrain and Egypt. Sinopharm claims phase three trials showed 79 per cent efficacy. An interesting part is that the UAE will also allow all its residents and citizens who have received both doses of an approved vaccine to enter without restriction no matter where in the world they are travelling from. This points again to COVID vaccination certificates becoming a staple of international travel.

 

Check Also

The future is suddenly closer

Neliswa Nkani, Hub Head – MEISEA, South African Tourism, discusses the NTO’s tweaked strategy with …