This report is produced by the Emergency Management, Health, and Hazards (EMH2) team to highlight global COVID-19 developments. It includes tracking of surges, cases, deaths, variants, and vaccines, and also notes notable implementation of control measures to mitigate virus transmission.
Sam Shames, Jade Patel, Emergency Management, Health, and Hazards (EMH2) Team
Week of Monday, June 28, 2021
The United States Agency for International Development helps Bangladesh with COVID-19 Recovery
Worldwide Cases: 183,955,760, Worldwide Deaths: 3,979,728
*Updated as of July 5, 2021
Red: Deadly outbreak with long-term effects
Orange: On the brink of a deadly outbreak
Purple: Being monitored for a potential outbreak
Green: Recovering from an outbreak
The rapid spread of the Delta Variant across the world has caused new waves of COVID-19 cases and deaths, prompting a panicked renewal of pandemic control measures. Many of the most affected regions are in Southeast Asia; Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand have been breaking previous records for cases and deaths due to COVID-19 for the past couple of weeks. In response, their governments have reinstated internal travel restrictions, closed non-essential businesses, and instituted lockdowns for the month of July. While cases and deaths continue to rise, the EMH2 team is monitoring the situation to determine the effectiveness of these pandemic control measures. Despite the current crisis, Thailand’s government just announced that the country will open to international tourism, raising concern that increased travel will further fuel the spread of the Delta Variant. This will certainly cause cases to dramatically rise, and it is likely that Thailand will face a situation similar to India’s crisis where the hospital system collapsed. Additionally, the inevitability of vaccine shortages will likely lead to calls for international aid and a major delay in the achievement of herd immunity.
South Africa and many regions in Australia are also experiencing outbreaks due to the Delta Variant. Governments in Africa and Australia have tightened restrictions and suspended internal travel, but slow vaccination campaigns make it difficult to control the spread of the virus. While Australia managed to effectively control the virus over the last year, pandemic fatigue has enabled the spread of the Delta Variant. In both countries, the key to managing these outbreaks is likely diverting resources toward improving vaccine rollout so that a larger proportion of the population is protected against new variants.
Global Vaccination Progress
Percentage of Fully Vaccinated Individuals in Each Country
COVAX, or the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access, is a partnership between the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Initiatives (CEPI), the Gavi Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization (WHO), and UNICEF aimed at promoting equitable global access to the COVID-19 vaccine.
World Vaccination Percentage
The world vaccination percentage gives a general overview of global vaccine administration by dose. It is important to view these statistics in the context of global vaccine distribution to obtain a better idea of which countries have administered more vaccines. In many cases, the countries with higher vaccination rates are wealthier countries with more access to medical care who have the capacity to rapidly produce and distribute vaccines. However, most countries lack the proper infrastructure to do this, and they rely on vaccine donations from other countries to begin vaccine rollout. As a result, a majority of the world’s population remains unvaccinated primarily due to a lack of access. While the proportion of those partially and fully vaccinated continues to increase, it will take months, and possibly years for the entire world population to achieve herd immunity.
Top 5 Fully Vaccinated Populations*
*only includes countries with >1 Million Pop.
Countries in the Middle East, including the UAE, Bahrain, and Israel have all had very successful vaccination campaigns. Israel is known for having the world’s fastest vaccine rollout due to its rapid purchasing of vaccines and a well-prepared healthcare workforce that was able to quickly administer doses. This case highlights the importance of a well-trained workforce and effective use of technology such as mobile text reminders and the distribution of information to improve accessibility to vaccines. As other countries experience increases in daily COVID-19 cases in the face of the Delta Variant, high vaccination rates paired with relatively low numbers of new infections in these countries establish the supposed effectiveness of the vaccine against the Variant. In South American countries such as Chile and Uruguay, high vaccination rates are paired with consistently high infection rates. This disparity in case rates in the Middle East and South America despite high vaccination rates calls into question the efficacy of different vaccines, While the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines dominate in these Middle Eastern countries, Chile and Uruguay mainly administer the Sinovac vaccine. While data supporting the efficacy of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in protecting against COVID-19 variants, especially the new Delta Variant, are very robust, data on the Sinovac vaccine suggest it does not provide the same level of protection against COVID-19 variants.
Countries With the Highest Number of Vaccine Doses Administered
* As of June 10, 2021, China has reported full vaccination of 15% (223.3 Million) of its population. There is no updated data available.
Despite administering millions of vaccines, many of the countries that have administered the highest number of vaccines still maintain high numbers of unvaccinated individuals. Additionally, early evidence suggests that vaccination campaigns in many of these Western nations are slowing, potentially due to vaccine hesitancy. As a result, these countries may face a delay in reaching herd immunity. With the Delta Variant as the main source of new COVID-19 infections in the USA and UK, a setback in vaccination progress could prove extremely dangerous as infections will rise. However, there will likely be a significant disparity in the number of infections among those who are unvaccinated and those who are vaccinated, with those unvaccinated individuals experiencing higher rates of infection and death.
The EMH2 team will monitor COVID-19 outbreaks in Europe and Iran over the next week as cases are beginning to increase and could potentially lead to serious outbreaks. The team will also monitor the international transmission of the Delta Variant as it becomes the most prominent strain to date. Additional focus will be on areas of Canada, as more active cases of the Delta strain are being discovered. The team will continue to track emergency management responses to outbreaks of the virus in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal to monitor the threat level and effectiveness of control measures as each country continues to recover from a recent outbreak.
__________________________________________________________________ The Counterterrorism Group (CTG)
 “U.S. Embassy Dhaka Deputy Chief of Mission JoAnne Wagner handover 2nd shipment of medical supplies to Bangladesh” by U.S. Embassy Dhaka, licensed under Public Domain
 Swiss give 4 million AstraZeneca shots to COVAX, keep mRNA shots for domestic use, Yahoo, June 2021, https://www.yahoo.com/news/swiss-4-million-astrazeneca-shots-123943334.html
 World Bank says will boost COVID-19 vaccine funding to US$20 billion, Channel News Asia, July 2021, https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/world-bank-says-will-boost-covid-19-vaccine-funding-to-us-20-billion-15127890
 Let down by rich and failing the poor, global vaccine scheme to be shaken up, Reuters, July 2021, https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/exclusive-let-down-by-rich-failing-poor-global-vaccine-scheme-be-shaken-up-2021-06-23/