Japan passes Germany on Covid Vaccines

On September 24, 2021 Japan’s first vaccine dose rate passed Germany’s rate (67.8 % vs 67.7 %) but with a steeper trajectory still: While Germany only has a gap of 3.8 percentage points between first and second doses, in Japan it’s still 12.0 percentage points, indicating much faster recent growth. The 1st/2nd dose gap is the equivalent of the number of additional first doses over the past 3+ weeks, since 2nd doses are given 3 weeks after first doses with Pfizer/BioNTech, 4 weeks in case of Moderna and 4-12 weeks in case of AstraZeneca. Both in Germany and in Japan the vast majority of doses used (~80%) have been Pfizer/BioNTech.

This means Japan has not only matched Germany, it is still vaccinating at three times the rate of Germany and will therefore be left with far fewer unvaccinated people. Reluctance to get vaccinated is a much bigger problem in Germany than it is in Japan. Especially in eastern states vaccination rates are much lower than average. Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, Brandenburg have the lowest vaccination rates, followed by the southern states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg and the northernmost of eastern states, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Not coincidentally, the states with the lowest vaccination rates also have the highest support for the far right AfD. According to opinion polls, about 60% of AfD-supporters had no intention of getting vaccinated.

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