Vaccines: who is faster between Italy, France, Germany and Spain?

Vaccines: who is faster between Italy, France, Germany and Spain?
Vaccines: who is faster between Italy, France, Germany and Spain?

The data in brief:

• Overall, European states have similar vaccine rates. Among the large EU countries, Germany is ahead in the number of vaccinated with one dose compared to the population, while Italy and Spain are in the lead for those who have received two doses.

• In the last few days, Germany and Spain are confirmed as the two major EU countries with the most new vaccinates per day. Italy is approaching, after having reached the milestone of 500,000 vaccines for two days (behind schedule), with France further behind.

• As for the elderly, Spain is first for the population over 80 with at least one dose, ahead of Italy in second position. France outperforms us in both the 70-79 and 60-69 age bracket, as does Spain. For Germany, on the other hand, the figures are not known.


In the last week, Italy managed for two days – on 29 and 30 April – to administer more than 500,000 vaccines a day, a goal that according to the plan of General Francesco Paolo Figliuolo should have been reached in mid-April. In other European countries, the pace of vaccination is also increasing.

But what are the differences with Italy? Are we in line with the other major EU countries? We checked out what the numbers say.

Overall, there is enough homogeneity across states. Although Germany and Spain are vaccinating more than Italy and France and differences remain between the various age groups.

How many are vaccinated in Europe

The project Our World in Data, developed by the University of Oxford, keeps track of vaccinations against Covid-19 done in every country in the world. It is currently the most updated and complete source on the subject.

In the European Union, the distribution of doses occurs in a more or less proportional way according to the population, so it is normal for most countries to be at very similar levels. Part of the differences, if substantial, can however be attributed to the vaccination capacity.

With at least one dose

To date, European countries have overall vaccinated between 10 and 30 percent of the population with at least one dose. But there are two exceptions: Malta is at 52 percent and Hungary at 42 percent. These higher percentages compared to the rest of the EU are explained on the one hand by the small size of Malta, on the other hand by the fact that Hungary is the only European state where the Russian Sputnik V vaccine is also being used ( currently not yet authorized by EMA, the European Medicines Agency).

Among the large EU countries, Germany vaccinated 27 percent of the population with at least one dose, Spain 25 percent, Italy 24 percent and France 23 percent.

With both doses

As for the fully vaccinated population, i.e. those who have received the second dose or Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine, the majority of states are between 3 and 11 percent vaccinated. Malta and Hungary are again exceptions and are above 20 per cent.

Among the large EU countries, Italy and Spain are at 10 per cent, France at 9.5 per cent and Germany at 7.5 per cent.

If, on the other hand, we look at the total doses administered to the population, the numbers are very close: Spain is at 35 percent, Germany at 34.3 percent, Italy at 33.7 percent and France at 32, 4 percent.

How to read vaccination trends

Let’s see now what is the daily pace of vaccinations in the four big EU countries. Let’s take the seven-day moving average, to dampen the frequent daily fluctuations in the data.

In January, at the beginning of the vaccination campaign, Italy had one of the fastest rates, also thanks to the fact that at the time our country was mostly vaccinating health personnel, easier to reach, while the other states were further ahead. on older people.

Between ups and downs, the daily rhythm of vaccinations was then similar until in April Spain and Germany had a sharp acceleration – which in Italy there was not. Here we have continued on a linear trend, which however in recent days has brought us to a level similar to that of Spain and Germany, higher than that of France.

Italy currently vaccinates about 0.6 per cent of the population per day, Spain 0.67 per cent, Germany 0.64 per cent and France 0.54 per cent.

How is Germany doing

In recent days there has been a lot of talk about Germany, which has made one million vaccines a day, a level that would correspond to about 750,000 daily doses in Italy.

However, it should be considered that the German data have strong daily fluctuations. On April 26, 424 thousand administrations were made, the next day 778 thousand, on April 28 1.1 million, on April 29 916 thousand. Subsequent data are not there yet, but over the weekend in Germany there are usually sharp drops in administration. In fact, in the last weekend of April, about 320 thousand administrations were made per day.

Overall, the strong German pace is favored by the role of general practitioners. The vaccination centers in fact do an average of 350,000 administrations per day, but the medical studies between Tuesday and Thursday do between 400,000 and 700,000 administrations, while on the other days a few tens of thousands. In the past week, 45 percent of vaccinations were done by general practitioners, 55 percent by vaccination centers.

How are France and Spain doing

France too

where many vaccinations are made, about 500 thousand, but then there are collapses at the weekend, with administrations between 200 thousand and 100 thousand. This means that the moving average of administrations is still below 400,000.

Evaluating Spanish trends is more complex because they do not release data over the weekend. But it is reasonable to think that on Saturdays and Sundays there are not many administrations because on Monday, when the data of the previous two days are also updated, the administrations are between 450,000 and 500,000. Spain also has peaks between Thursday and Friday, when in the last week it has been administered over 500,000 doses in one day.

How is the protection of the elderly going

As of May 2, in Italy 88 percent of the over 80 population and 61 percent of those aged between 70 and 79 had been vaccinated with at least one dose. Important regional differences persist: in Sicily only 70 of the over 80s received at least one dose, while in Veneto it is 97 percent. Despite this, the majority of regions are converging between 85 and 90 percent.

In France, the population over 80 vaccinated with at least one dose is 71 percent, while that between 70 and 79 years old is 75 percent. Unlike Italy, however, France is already well advanced between the ages of 60-69, where with the first dose it has vaccinated 51 percent. In our country we are at 32 percent.

In Spain, 99 percent of those over 80, 78 percent of those between 70 and 79 and 51 percent of those between 60 and 69 have been vaccinated with at least one dose.

In Germany, vaccination rates in the elderly population are not known precisely because they are not reported. German health authorities do not even provide them to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the European health body that helps countries fight the pandemic.

In conclusion

Overall, vaccination rates are very similar between major European countries and the vaccinated population in the European Union to date is more or less the same in all Member States, with the exception of Malta and Hungary.

Germany and Spain appear to have a greater capacity than Italy to provide vaccinations. In our country, about 700-750 thousand administrations should be done to match their best days, while at the moment the maximum reached is 515 thousand.

In general, the main obstacle to the vaccination campaign still remains largely the number of doses available, which does not allow to accelerate particularly and keeps all European countries at a similar rate of administration.

by Lorenzo Ruffino

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