COVID Surging in Indonesia and Global Vaccination

Indonesia’s health ministry reported over 12000 weekly COVID cases last week but these are underreported infection rates. Health restrictions and travel bans are being ignored and COVID testing is underfunded. Indonesian COVID vaccination rates are below 5% and Indonesia is using the less effective Chinese COVID vaccine. It is expected that Indonesia is building up to the level of the Indian COVID surge.

The UK per capita COVID rate is four times the current US level. This is in spite of the UK having a slightly higher vaccination rate than the USA.

Our World in Data has tracking of the global COVID vaccination effort.

22.0% of the world population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
2.7 billion doses have been administered globally, and 40.0 million are now administered each day.
Only 0.9% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose.

Israel and England are ahead of the USA in COVID vaccination.

SOURCES- Our World in Data, Worldometers, Aljazeera
Written By Brian Wang,

22 thoughts on “COVID Surging in Indonesia and Global Vaccination”

  1. Buy the vaccines. It is a lot cheaper than the healthcare cost of dealing with sick people.

  2. The UK has another disadvantage: smaller homes. If a family member gets sick it is that much harder to protect everyone else in the household. Australia has the largest houses. And the US has about 100 less square feet. The UK is close to 500 less square feet less than the Aussies.

    New homes in the US are probably bigger than anywhere, we just don't make enough of them. Too many NIMBYs blocking construction. And now we have absurdly high lumber prices, that probably will not be relieved until we reduce or drop tariffs on lumber.

  3. The issues with keeping vaccines cool in transport and at destination are nontrivial for many countries. I think this is the main bottleneck. Vaccines are getting to most places but not in high volumes…and just getting into the country is insufficient. They somehow have to get it to all their cities and small towns, many of which will have no super cold freezers.
    There have also been issues with manufacturers getting the stuff they make the vaccines out of. Then there were/are countries blocking export, to insure their own people are protected first, and such. That interferes with the plans and contracts of the companies, and the logistics gets scrambled. Countries try switching to other companies, because contracts have escape clauses, which further complicates things.
    And there are delayed vaccines as well. More companies were going to make vaccines.

  4. There has been no significant breakthrough of Delta against AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna. PHE have analysed real world data in the U.K. to determine that all still provide a high degree (90%+) of protection with two doses. It’s slightly lower than the protection for Alpha at one dose, but it’s marginal. There’s not enough data on Delta+ yet and it doesn’t seem to be out competing Delta in communities where Delta is dominant. There is some evidence that Gamma (aka Brazil) is better at evading the current generation of vaccines, but like Delta+ it doesn’t appear to out compete Delta where that’s widespread.

  5. Treatments have definitely improved a lot since the first wave early 2020, as has resources. In the U.K., I’m not sure they’ve changed a great deal since the second wave in Dec-Feb, which was a result of the alpha variant. The study on 500 patients published by PHE a week ago drilled into the major factors in play during this third wave with the delta variant, compared to the second wave, and it seems the vaccine is the biggest, by changing the demographics of those getting sick, and through its partial protection of those who had only one dose when they got infected. I guess like many things, it’s an accumulation of major positive improvements like vaccines and treatments, working against a virus which is evolving to compete.

  6. Treatments have also improved. And you can afford to use more effective treatments when there are far fewer hospitalized. Some treatments require that a patent is watched carefully for hours by a nurse while it slowly drips. When there are many cases, you just can't spare those nurses.
    There should also be more ECMO machines relative to the number of patients. They had only 15 in Feb 2000. If they still only have 15 machines, they won't make much of a difference statistically. I can't imagine they have not ordered more. If they don't have more by now, it probably is a manufacturing issue or being outbid by other countries or export of these being blocked or something.

  7. Authorities are legit freaking out over the Delta variant (indian one, sometimes called the double mutation variant), and Delta+ (which I believe is the the new double mutant of Delta found in Vietnam just recently). I think there's been some published case studies of people getting infected just by walking past a Delta infected person, so that isn't helping.

    There's also been a worrying increase of (unconfirmed) reports of breakthru in AstraZeneca vaccinated people due to Delta as well (well, at least compared to Pfizer and Moderna, not sure about Sputnik and Sinovacs). Which must be leading to some uncomfortable conversations in countries receiving large donations of AstraZeneca (such as Japan effectively offloading their entire AstraZeneca lot to Taiwan/Thailand/southeast asia which were approaching expiration)

  8. Indonesia is per capita "richer" than India

    ($12 882/cap vs. $7 333/cap ppp IMF figures for 2021)

    So over a long time frame they can do more than india can per person. But over the short term, India already has a pharmaceutical industry up and running, and Indonesia does not.

    Getting vaccine production up and running is, over the course of a year or so, limited by stuff like trained people and specialty equipment. It's not a matter of signing a purchase request and you get one installed next week. Or even next quarter.
    Next year might be possible, under normal conditions, if you are prepared to splash the cash. But then it turns out that the specialty equipment manufacturers have suddenly had orders from every halfway rich country in the world, so you won't get it next year either unless you are at the top of the list.

  9. They do track such things.

    But it's more complicated that good/bad so it doesn't make it to the headlines.

  10. I thought Indonesia was a middle income country that on a per capita basis was twice as rich as India. I would expect them to do a much better job of vaccinating. If they aren't careful they will get caught like how India got caught.

    And yes, I also think the Chinese vaccine isn't very effective at stopping the virus but I am hoping it will keep hospitalizations and deaths down.

  11. Indeed. U.K. is a major international transit hub with heavy links to former British colonies and Europe, so was hit hard by both the early variant which developed in Italy and Spain, and more recently by the delta variant from India. It also was the seat of the alpha variant, and all three of these variants were much more transmissible than the prior strains. The U.K. has seen hotspots in densely populated cities, especially amongst multi generational households, and amongst ethnic groups who are more sceptical of vaccines and authority. 
    The current delta wave is not causing a significant rise in deaths or hospital cases because the U.K. has vaccinated such a high % of the population with either Pfizer, Az or Moderna, not with less effective vaccines. As it stands today, over 80% of adults have had at least one dose, and over 60% two doses. Add in those who’ve already been infected, and the level of those with some protection in the adult population is very high. In fact almost all the cases in this wave are in those under 30 who are only now being vaccinated.

  12. They have been doing this in the U.K. since last summer by tracking which variant each person testing positive has, and what the outcome is. Delta is 60% more transmissible than the Alpha (aka Kent) variant, and slightly more deadly. It is however well protected by the approved vaccines.

  13. It’s not because the delta variant is less deadly, it’s because almost everybody (>90%) aged 50+ has now had 2 doses. U.K. vaccination take up is very high, even amongst the younger age groups who’ve just been able book jabs. This is illustrated in hospital rates. In the last wave in January almost everyone in hospital with covid was 65+ but in this wave it’s less than one third of cases. This reflects the age based rollout of the vaccine which only opened to those under 30 a week ago. Since they’re younger, they almost always survive. In fact, amongst the unvaccinated population, the delta variant is both more transmissible and more deadly.

  14. No reason why government can't track the morbidity of each variant and let people know how they behave in terms of infectiousness and morbidity.

    Generally we just get the "it must be more contagious because it is growing" as if there was nowhere to go but up from 0% contagion.

  15. Indonesia is using the Chinese vaccine which isn't as effective. So they are vaccinating, but slowly and ineffectively.

  16. Also US geography is different (spread out), US transportation is different (less mass transit).

    Lots of factors.

  17. I would have though by now vaccine production would be higher. It seems no one wants to spend the extra money to get this pandemic over with.

  18. Yep, this decrease in morbidity ain't natural in many lucky places.

    In others, they are really watching evolution and natural response to infections in action.

    In both cases, we would be seeing an eventual decrease in the IFR, because the populations will become pre-exposed to the pathogen.

    But the second option has a much higher body count.

  19. Compared to the UK, the US probably has a higher blood level of vitamin D and a higher propensity to use alternative meds such as ivermectin.

  20. Wouldn't they have immunised all the elderly and/or sick people by now, so anyone catching the disease in the UK this week is either young and strong, or already immunised?. Or both I suppose.

    That would tend to greatly decrease the death rate even if the virus was unchanged.

  21. Still, I find what is happening in Britain encouraging. The number of cases has indeed increased but the count of deaths hasn't by much. This is a strong indication that the Indian variant is less lethal. The natural course of such diseases predicts that covid-19 should become as harmful as any other affluenza and this is what is happening.

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