MONDAY, July 19, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- COVID-19 vaccination rates in Canada have now beaten those in the United States.
As of Saturday, more than 49% of eligible people in Canada were fully vaccinated, and 70% had received at least one dose of vaccine, according to figures from the Our World in Data project, The New York Times reported. The rates in the United States are about 48% and 55.5%, respectively. In the European Union, less than 43% are fully vaccinated and 55.7% have at least one shot, the Times reported.
Globally, wealthy nations are far outpacing the rest of the world. Only about 1% of people in low-income countries are even partly vaccinated, the Times reported.
The pace of U.S. vaccinations has remained relatively flat in recent weeks. In a renewed push, President Joe Biden last week asked employers to set up clinics at work and to offer paid time off for workers to get vaccines. After a sharp drop in virus cases, the highly contagious Delta variant is now fueling infections among the unvaccinated. Outbreaks have emerged in some parts of Texas, Arkansas and Missouri.
Last Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signaled that the country could be ready to accept fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents across its border for nonessential travel as of mid-August.
Trudeau also said Canada could open to fully vaccinated travelers across the world by early September if conditions continue to improve.
Canada's vaccination rate has now accelerated after supply issues slowed the country's early rollout, the Times reported.
Experts said that Canada's start was always going to be sluggish because of several key factors, notably its decision last year to spread its 414 million orders among seven different companies to reduce risk, rather than bet on a single vaccine in exchange for early delivery.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on COVID vaccines.
SOURCE: The New York Times