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While most of 2020 was focused on the rapidly rising number of coronavirus cases all over the globe, this year could be all about how countries are fighting off the pandemic.

As mentioned in our Quick and Wacky Predictions for 2021, nations with an effective COVID-19 response and vaccine rollout might see a boom in business and consumer activity.

Folks who have the means might be eager to spend what they’ve saved up on dining out, commutes, leisure and shopping throughout last year. And if economies are able to sustain the recovery, it could mean the end of tight lockdown restrictions that limit growth.

The United Kingdom was the first among the major economies to approve a vaccine and start its distribution last year. Looking at the table of vaccination doses administered per 100 people suggests that Brits are leading the pack.

COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Race (Source: Our World in Data)
COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Race (Source: Our World in Data)

Uncle Sam is pretty close behind with 2.72 doses per 100 people, followed by the top euro zone nations and Canada.

It’s also worth mentioning that Canada has hoarded more than enough vaccine doses to cover three times of its entire population!

COVID-19 Vaccine Map (Source: Bloomberg)
COVID-19 Vaccine Map (Source: Bloomberg)

Data compiled by Bloomberg also revealed that Australia and New Zealand are able to secure enough doses to cover 229.9% and 246.8% of their population, respectively.

Don’t forget that these two nations have been doing quite well when it comes to quickly implementing precautionary measures such as border closures and lockdown restrictions.

Of course the vaccine rollout is only one part of the story, as the rate of virus transmission is worth keeping tabs on. Can the speed of vaccine distribution outpace the rise in number of confirmed cases and fatalities?

In the U.S., the number of known cases has been doubling every two months. Compare this to Australia which sees a doubling of cases every three years!

Here’s how the major economies rank in this aspect, based on CNN’s interactive tracking tool:

  1. Australia – Three years
  2. New Zealand – Nine months
  3. Switzerland – Four months
  4. Germany, France, Italy – Roughly three months
  5. Canada – Two months
  6. United States – Two months
  7. Japan – One month
  8. United Kingdom – One month

The rolling 7-day average of daily confirmed cases isn’t looking too good for the U.K. and the U.S. either.

COVID-19 Confirmed Cases per Million People (Source: Our World in Data)
COVID-19 Confirmed Cases per Million People (Source: Our World in Data)

So far it looks like Australia, New Zealand, and Canada are faring better than their peers on most aspects.

A lot could still change, though, especially with the emergence of the new strain of the virus and a likely spike in cases from holiday gatherings. Then again, positive updates on the vaccine front could also generate more hopeful numbers down the line.