World Health Organization’s European head Hans Kluge stated in a Reuters article that “Only 10% of the region’s population have received one vaccine dose, and 4% have completed a full course.” The article was published on 1.4.2021. The claim appears to be mostly true.
According to Reuters the article is based on WHO’s press release titled “Slow vaccine roll out prolonging pandemic” that was published on 31.3.2021.
The percentages shown in the article are confirmed by the statement. However, WHO does not specify which area the statement is referring to. Reuters communications manager Joel Ivory-Harte confirmed via email that by Europe the article means EU.
Figure 1: A screenshot from Reuters 1.4.2021 article about WHO’s 31.3.2021 published statement.
What is meant by Europe?
Because there is no full certainty about what WHO meant with European region we made three different scenarios.
Our World in Data is a publication with a daily updated global dataset. Their data can be used for comparison.
Hedinn Halldorsson, WHO’s communications officer, confirmed that the data can be found in WHO Europe Covid-19 Vaccine Programme Monitor.
Some data had been updated after the statement in some countries. This can affect the numbers and raise differences between the statement and our calculations.
Figure 2: Comparison showing Europe’s vaccination data, including the UK.
In this scenario, regarding Europe, the difference between the Kluge’s statement (10 %) and statistics (12,21 %) is 2,21 percentage points. In numbers it means about 16,5 million people.
Reuters article wrote specifically about the situation in the EU. These numbers are the closest when comparing to Dr. Kluge’s statement.
Figure 3: Comparison showing the European Union vaccination data.
There is about one percentage point’s difference between WHO’s statement and Europe Covid-19 Vaccine Programme Monitor. It means about 4.47 million people.
Figure 4: Comparison showing WHO’s European region, which includes countries outside of Europe like Israel and Turkey.
This last calculation was based on this list of countries. There is a 1,17 percentage point’s difference between WHO’s statement and Europe Covid-19 Vaccine Programme Monitor. It means about 9.28 million people.
In stating that 10% of European region population has had one vaccine dose and 4% full course (in beginning of April) Dr. Kluge is close to correct. According to our research the claim is mostly true.
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RESEARCH | ARTICLE © Jani Kurvinen, Ville Oksa, Silja Pokki. Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, FI