Disparities and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccine policies in three representative European countries.

Publication date: Jan 30, 2024

The aim of this study was to examine the Coronavirus disease 2019(COVID-19) vaccine policies disparities and effectiveness in Germany, Denmark and Bulgaria, with a view to providing lessons for global vaccination and response to possible outbreak risks. This study analyzed big data through public information on the official websites of the Ministries of Health of the European Union, Germany, Denmark and Bulgaria and the official websites of the World Health Organization. We systematically summarized the COVID-19 vaccine policies of the three countries, and selected the following six indicators for cross-cutting vaccination comparisons: COVID-19 vaccine doses administered per 100 people, COVID-19 vaccination rate, the share of people with fully vaccinated, the share of people only partly vaccinated, cumulative confirmed COVID-19 cases per million, cumulative confirmed COVID-19 deaths per million. Meanwhile, we selected the following four indicators for measuring the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccine policy implementation: daily cases per million, daily deaths per million, the effective reproduction rate (Rt), the moving-average case fatality rate (CFR). Although these three EU countries had the same start time for vaccination, and the COVID-19 vaccine supply was coordinated by the EU, there are still differences in vaccination priorities, vaccination types, and vaccine appointment methods. Compared to Germany and Denmark, Bulgaria had the least efficient vaccination efforts and the worst vaccination coverage, with a vaccination rate of just over 30% as of June 2023, and the maximum daily deaths per million since vaccination began in the country was more than three times that of the other two countries. From the perspective of implementation effect, vaccination has a certain effect on reducing infection rate and death rate, but the spread of new mutant strains obviously aggravates the severity of the epidemic and reduces the effectiveness of the vaccine. Among them, the spread of the Omicron mutant strain had the most serious impact on the three countries, showing an obvious epidemic peak. Expanding vaccination coverage has played a positive role in reducing COVID-19 infection and mortality rates and stabilizing Rt. Priority vaccination strategies targeting older people and at-risk groups have been shown to be effective in reducing COVID-19 case severity and mortality in the population. However, the emergence and spread of new variant strains, and the relaxation of epidemic prevention policies, still led to multiple outbreaks peaking. In addition, vaccine hesitancy, mistrust in government and ill-prepared health systems are hampering vaccination efforts. Among the notable ones are divergent types of responses to vaccine safety issue could fuel mistrust and hesitancy around vaccination. At this stage, it is also necessary to continue to include COVID-19 vaccination in priority vaccination plans and promote booster vaccination to prevent severe illness and death. Improving the fairness of vaccine distribution and reducing the degree of vaccine hesitancy are the focus of future vaccination work.

Concepts Keywords
Coronavirus COVID-19
Daily Vaccination effectiveness
Germany Vaccine equity
Websites Vaccine policies disparities

Semantics

Type Source Name
disease VO effectiveness
disease VO COVID-19 vaccine
disease MESH Coronavirus disease 2019
disease VO vaccine
disease VO vaccination
disease VO organization
disease VO vaccinated
disease VO effective
pathway REACTOME Reproduction
disease VO time
disease VO efficient
disease VO vaccination coverage
disease IDO country
disease MESH infection
disease MESH death
disease VO population
disease VO Equity

Original Article

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