The United Kingdom has 68.95, Belgium 68.97. On the website of Our World in Data, which keeps the vaccination rate of all countries per day, our country passed the UK this weekend. This is the percentage of the total population that is at least partly vaccinated. Of course, those figures vary day by day, but this is the first time that we have risen above the United Kingdom in that world ranking.
That seemed completely unthinkable six months ago. By that time, 15 million British had already been vaccinated, and we had to be happy here when 100,000 vaccines came in a week. There was criticism that things were too slow, that we were too good. But that gap is now closed.
“We started as a diesel, but now we are in the European top”, says epidemiologist Pierre Van Damme (Uantwerp). “We can really be proud of that. But there’s still work to be done.”
After all, there are big differences within Belgium: in Flanders, 90 percent of the over-18s are at least partly vaccinated, in Brussels that is 61 percent. And in the big cities, vaccination rates are lagging behind. “The cities are the biggest challenge,” says Van Damme.
How high does the vaccination count have to go before we’re protected?
“Now that it is reported from America that the Delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox, we should go up to 85-90 percent of the total population,” says Van Damme.