Vaccination rates are very unequal around the world. There are also big differences within Europe and the European Union.
Leading the pack is Portugal, where 88 percent of the total population is fully vaccinated. Spain is also doing well, at 80 percent. In Germany, just 69 percent of the population is fully vaccinated – a relatively low rate compared with the rest of Western Europe.
It’s a very different picture moving east: Many countries in eastern Europe are lagging behind, with countries such as Croatia, Slovakia and Romania having vaccinated less than 50 percent of the population.
But the lowest vaccination rate in the EU is in Bulgaria, at just over 26 percent.
It’s not a perfect comparison among countries, since data is collected differently. But there is a clear and stark difference.
In the United Kingdom, the number of people infected with the new omicron variant is rising rapidly. Cases are currently doubling every 2 to 3 days and the government says that Omicron could become the dominant variant within days. The government has now opened up booster shots to anyone 18 and over. Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants all adults to get a third jab before the new year.