Some of World’s Best and Worst Vaccine Drives Are in the Pacific
(Bloomberg) -- A stark vaccine divide has emerged in the Pacific, with the region’s island nations responsible for some of the world’s best -- and worst -- inoculation efforts, according to research from the Lowy Institute.
Nations such as Nauru, Palau and Niue have already fully vaccinated almost their entire eligible adult population against Covid-19, while the inoculation rate in Fiji, Tonga and Samoa exceeds 90%.
The think tank projects that PNG will have inoculated just 35% of its adult population by 2026. To date, less than 2% of people have had two shots.
“The Northern Pacific has benefited from the efforts by the United States to roll out vaccines quickly and at scale,” research fellow Alexandre Dayant is quoted as saying in a press release. Other parts of the isolated region “have been hampered by poor health service delivery, but more worryingly misinformation leading to outright vaccine resistance.”
Vaccine supply has been guaranteed through the Covax initiative and donations from countries including Australia, New Zealand, the U.S. and China. However uptake has been slowed by vaccine hesitancy, difficulties in reaching some remote populations and limited health sector capacity.
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