The Covid-19 Vaccine: Distribution and Booster Shots


Photo courtesy of Metropolitan Pediatrics.

Isabella Pellom-Delucca, General

As the Covid-19 vaccine and booster makes its way around the news, it makes its way across the world, too. Here are the specifics of who’s getting vaccinated as of October 18, 2021.

Europe: 54%

Portugal takes the lead with an astonishing 86% of its citizens having received two doses of the vaccine, making it the most fully vaccinated country in the world. Treading right below is Iceland at 81%, Spain at 79%, Denmark at 76%, Ireland at 75% and Belgium at 73%. Ten countries, including the United Kingdom, Italy, and France have all met the 60% checkpoint. 

Asia: 40%

Singapore has an 80% vaccinated population, while China has 74%, China has 71%, Malaysia has 69%, Japan has 67%, South Korea has 65% and Mongolia has 64%.

As for the Middle East, 85% of the United Arab Emirates has received both doses of the vaccine, the most in Asia. Bahrain has a 65% fully vaccinated population, while Saudi Arabia catches up with 50%.                                            

Latin America: 46%*

Uruguay takes the lead at a solid 75%. Chile and Puerto Rico are right at 74% and 72%. Cuba is at 60% and Panama, Argentina, Ecuador and El Salvador are all in the mid-50s. 

Africa: 5%

Seychelles has the highest vaccinated population of 76%; Morocco is second at 55%. Tunisia’s at 35%, Tonga’s at 23% and Equatorial Guinea’s at 12%. 

Oceania: 42%

67% of Nauru are fully vaccinated. 63% of the Cook Islands, 57% of New Zealand, 56% of Australia and 47% of Wallis and Futuna join them. 

North America: 65%

Canada has vaccinated 73% of its citizens; Greenland is at 64%. In the U.S., the overall vaccination rate is 56%. Out of the states, Vermont has the highest vaccinated population of 71%. 13 states and territories are between 60-69%, 21 are between 50-59% and 13 are between 40-49%. 

North Carolina is the 33rd most vaccinated state. Of our 10,490,000 population, 5,423,205 have been fully vaccinated, amounting to 52%. Orange County, encompassing a sliver of Chapel Hill, is the most vaccinated county in North Carolina at 72%. Mecklenburg County is at 60% and Union County is at 52%. 

Fast Facts: Who’s vaccinated in the US?

  • 58% of Republicans and 90% of Democrats
  • 67% of adults without a college degree and 82% with a college degree
  • 69% of males and 74% of females 
  • 62% of rural residents and 77% of urban residents

What about booster shots?

The Covid-19 booster shot works the same way the regular Covid-19 vaccine does — with mRNA, a weakened form of a virus used to trigger an immune response — but they add an extra layer of protection to secure a barrier against severe symptoms. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave Pfizer-BioNTech the green light for beginning the circulation of booster shots to those that qualify. The qualifications are as follows:

  • 18 and older with underlying health conditions that could pose severe Covid cases
  • 18 and older working in high-risk environments (e.g. first responders, public transit workers, manufacturing workers, etc.)
  • 18 and older residing in long-term care facilities
  • 65 and older

As the potency of vaccines declines with time, the U.S. Health Public Service Commissioned Corps Surgeon General Vivek Murthy suggested that “you time your booster shot for about eight months after your last mRNA vaccine”. 

People who are vaccinated with any brand other than Pfizer and are not eligible to receive the booster shot at the moment. Not to worry; numerous companies are formulating booster shots in hopes of FDA approval in the near future. 

*Latin America encompasses the majority of Central America, South America and the Caribbean.