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How do key COVID-19 metrics compare to previous waves?

In the first weeks of 2022, millions of confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported every day. But this new wave of infections comes at a time when close to 60% of the global population has received at least one dose of a vaccine.

By comparing the proportion of confirmed cases that result in hospital admissions, ICU admissions, and deaths, to previous waves – when the population was not vaccinated – we can learn something about the protection that vaccination has provided against severe outcomes.

The charts below show one way to do this. They visualize the main COVID metrics relative to the peak of the last wave. The peak of the last wave happened before the population was widely vaccinated. In this representation of the data, if confirmed cases increase but hospitalizations and deaths increase to a lesser extent, it will mean that the many reported cases are leading to fewer severe forms of the disease, and fewer deaths.

Differences between countries and between waves may arise from factors such as: the number of vaccine doses administered per person; immunity from previous infections; the variants that are dominant within the population; the demographics of the population; and the demographics of people who have been vaccinated. For example, countries where the elderly and most vulnerable have been vaccinated at higher rates may have fewer severe outcomes.

In this post, we show these comparisons for Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, Israel, and Germany. All five countries experienced a wave of infections in late 2020/early 2021, just before vaccination started.

These charts are updated daily, with data sourced from the government of each country.

Spain

To this day, Spain has administered:

  • At least 1 vaccine dose to 87.2% of its population
  • All doses of the original protocol to 81.8% of its population
  • 40.9 booster doses per 100 people

The data is presented by date of event. Because of delays in the reporting of hospital admissions and deaths, it is shown with a 7-day cutoff to remove days with incomplete data.

United Kingdom

To this day, the United Kingdom has administered:

  • At least 1 vaccine dose to 76.6% of its population
  • All doses of the original protocol to 70.6% of its population
  • 54.1 booster doses per 100 people

On the interactive chart, you can click on “Change location” to explore the data for each nation (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland).

United States

To this day, the United States has administered:

  • At least 1 vaccine dose to 75.5% of its population
  • All doses of the original protocol to 63.1% of its population
  • 25.2 booster doses per 100 people

Israel

To this day, Israel has administered:

  • At least 1 vaccine dose to 71.9% of its population
  • All doses of the original protocol to 65.2% of its population
  • 54 booster doses per 100 people

Germany

To this day, Germany has administered:

  • At least 1 vaccine dose to 74.7% of its population
  • All doses of the original protocol to 72.6% of its population
  • 49.6 booster doses per 100 people