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Coronavirus

Nations Lauded for Virus Successes Lag in Shots

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Some of the countries praised last year for controlling the coronavirus are lagging when it comes to vaccinating their populations.

And some, especially in Asia, are experiencing surges in coronavirus cases. In Japan, South Korea and New Zealand, vaccination rates are languishing in the single figures. Not only do those three countries rank worst among all developed nations in vaccinating their people against COVID-19, they also rank below many developing countries, such as Brazil and India. Australia is also performing comparatively poorly.

That compares to the U.S., where nearly half of all people have gotten at least one shot, and Britain and Israel, where rates are even higher.

Japan has fully vaccinated only about 1% of its population. The nation is facing a significant coronavirus outbreak just 10 weeks before it is to host the already delayed Tokyo Olympics — although without spectators from abroad.

Japan went through a more traditional approval process that required an extra layer of clinical testing for vaccines that had already been tested elsewhere and widely used. Then Japan faced a shortage of medical staff to administer them.

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