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Tuesday May 18 2021

1.5 billion anti-COVID jabs administered worldwide

A Buddhist monk is injected with the Sinovac Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine at the Priest Hospital in Bangkok on May 18, 2021. Photo: AFP  

PARIS: Over 1.5 billion doses of anti-COVID vaccine have been injected into people's arms around the world, within just six months since the vaccination drive started, showed an AFP count.

By Tuesday at 1530 GMT at least 1,500,017,337 doses had been injected in 210 countries or territories, according to the tally based on official sources.

Nearly three fifths of the total have been administered in three countries: China (421.9 million), the United States (274.4 million) and India (184.4 million).

Read more: WHO approves China´s Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine

In terms of population, Israel is leading the pack: nearly six Israelis out of 10 have already been completely vaccinated with two shots. The United Kingdom follows, with 54% of its population having already received at least one dose, then Bahrain with 50%), the United States (48%), Chile (47%) and Uruguay (40%).

In the 27-nation European Union more than 200 million doses have been administered to 32% of the population. Of the bloc's biggest countries Germany has given one dose to 37% of the population, France to 31%, Italy to 32% and Spain 33%.

Read more: US to authorize Pfizer vaccine for age 12 and up

While the world's half billionth dose took four months to achieve, coming on March 25, it took less than a month to double the total, then just over another three weeks to get to the figure of 1.5 billion.

Eleven countries are not yet vaccinating. Six of them are in Africa: Burkina Faso, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Chad, Eritrea, and Tanzania. The others are in Oceania (Vanuatu and Kiribati), North Korea and Turkmenistan in Asia and Haiti in the Caribbean.