The best vaccine to vaccinate

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Vaxzevria, the coronavirus vaccine developed by international pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, is currently approved in 134 countries, three more than the U.S.-German Pfizer-BioNTech joint venture. As our chart shows, the most widely available and proven vaccines are produced in Western countries such as the United Kingdom, the aforementioned Germany and the United States.

Rounding out the top three, according to data accumulated by COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker, is a Johnson & Johnson vaccine that successfully protects against all strains up to Delta, but is suspected to be less effective against Omicron. This variant, first discovered in South Africa but not necessarily originating there, is quickly becoming the predominant iteration of the coronavirus in many countries of the world because of its high transmissibility – and is also a concern for Chinese and Russian vaccine manufacturers.

Sputnik V, approved in 74 countries but not yet tested by the WHO and the European Medicines Agency, was the subject of conflicting reports in December: one Russian study claimed a sustained reaction to the newest version of the vaccine, while an international study conducted on samples from various sources in the United States, Italy, Pakistan and Buenos Aires reported virtually no antibody response after a third vaccination with the Russian vaccine. The same study questioned the effectiveness of the Covilo vaccine, produced by the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinopharm and available in 85 countries, in the face of Omicron. Another major Chinese vaccine, Sinovac, also appears to be less effective against the newest variant. According to a Yale University study, a combination of two shots of the original vaccine and a booster from Pfizer-BioNTech produced the same antibody response as two shots of the mRNA vaccine.

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Overall, China has vaccinated its population the most, 2.9 billion for 1.4 billion people, compared with 1.5 billion in India, 1.1 billion in Europe and 521 million in the United States, according to Our World in Data. Although the People’s Republic’s previous measures have been largely successful in curbing the spread of Alpha, Beta and Delta variants, the problems caused by the Omicron variant and the apparent decline in effectiveness of domestic vaccines are likely to change the situation in the future.

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