(Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)

Macau 6th in Asia for vaccine doses per 100 habitants – Fitch

The Macau SAR is currently 6th in Asia when it comes to vaccine doses administered per 100 habitants, data published by Fitch Ratings indicates.

As of June 6, Mongolia topped the Asian vaccination ranking, followed by the Maldives, Singapore, Mainland China, Hong Kong and finally Macau with an average of some 30 vaccines administered per 100 habitants.

It is important to note that full vaccination is only achieved after two doses, and although as of yesterday a total of 215,775 doses of either the Sinopharm or BioNTech vaccines had been administered in Macau to a total of 143,117 people vaccinated, only 73,733 people, or 16 per cent of the total population, had completed both doses.

‘The Asia-Pacific region’s Covid-19-containment response was a relative global outperformer in 2020, but in 2021 its vaccine rollout has in aggregate lagged that of other regions, apart from Africa. The number of doses delivered relative to total populations remains low, compared with both the US and with that necessary to achieve “herd immunity,’ a Fitch Ratings report indicated.

The US had administered 90 vaccine doses per 100 habitants, a rate only surpassed in Asia by Mongolia, a country that has so far almost reached the 50 per cent rate of the fully vaccinated total population.

‘Reasons for this vary. Some jurisdictions that had done well in containing the virus were slow to move on vaccine approvals and rollouts. Others have had difficulty procuring vaccine supplies, particularly where authorities did not prioritise this at an early stage’.

For the rating agency, the low rates of vaccination and outbreaks of new infections pose near-term downside risks to our economic growth forecasts and could delay recoveries from the pandemic shock of 2020.

‘However, relatively narrow applications of lockdowns, coupled with adjustments in societal and business behaviour, should help to cushion the economic impact,’ the agency noted.

Still, Fitch noted that the pace of vaccination has begun to accelerate in Asian countries in recent weeks, especially in Mainland China, Macau and South Korea.

The recent increase in cases in the neighbouring province of Guangdong has led to a 10-fold rise in the number of local vaccination appointments, with local companies, including all six gaming concessionaires, also advancing with vaccination support plans aimed at their employees.

Accoridng to the Fitch Ratings data, the daily number of Covid-19 vaccines administered per 100 people in Macau has gone from 0.2 on May 7, to almost 0.8 by June 6, above the Hong Kong rate but below the 1.4 reported by Mainland China.

For more than a week, an average of about 20 million people has been vaccinated against COVID-19 every day in Mainland China.

Meanwhile, the neighbouring Chinese city of Zhuhai has already achieved a 90 per cent vaccination rate for residents between 16 and 60, one of the highest rates in the country.