A calculator recording the progress of vaccinations across the globe suggests it will be seven years before the coronavirus pandemic comes to an end.
The estimation comes from Bloomberg, which has built the world’s biggest database of the more than 119 million coronavirus vaccinations administered worldwide.
Science officials such as Dr Anthony Fauci have suggested 70%-85% of the population will need to be immunised against the virus in order for the world to return to ‘normal’, so Bloomberg’s Vaccine Tracker has set a global target of 75% coverage with a two-dose vaccine.
The rollout of vaccines is happening at different paces in different countries, but at the current pace the Vaccine Tracker estimates that the world as a whole will be covered in seven years.
Vaccinations are happening faster in wealthier Western countries such as the UK and the US, with the UK launching its vaccination programme in December last year.
The US is on track to reach 75% coverage just before 2022, while Israel, the country with the highest vaccination rate in the world, is headed for 75% coverage in just two months, Bloomberg reports.
The calculator is based on the most recent rolling average of vaccinations, meaning that the time needed to hit the 75% threshold will fall as countries improve and quicken the rollout of vaccination programmes.
The pace at which the population is being vaccinated is likely to accelerate as more vaccines become available across the globe, with some of the biggest manufacturing hubs in India and Mexico only just beginning their rollouts. As it stands, only a third of countries have begun their vaccination campaigns.
It is possible that herd immunity – when enough people are vaccinated to prevent the spread of the virus – could be achieved before 75% of people are vaccinated and therefore sooner than currently anticipated. Scientists differ on beliefs about the point at which herd immunity is achieved.
Bloomberg’s calculator does not account for any natural immunity that might result from those recovering from coronavirus.
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