The Jewish state had made headlines worldwide for its world’s highest per capita vaccination rate — nearly a quarter of its 9.3 million citizens had been inoculated as of this week. Already the country has reported a significant drop in its positive test rate, as well as the number of seriously ill and ICU-admitted patients. However, this initial success — a rather outlier one — may be out of reach for the majority of the world. The alternative option? Vietnam, a low-cost covid success story.
For most of 2020, the Southeast Asian country has kept the pandemic under control. Until late July, it had managed to keep the total case tally in the hundreds with not a single recorded death. Even with several resurgences, the country’s covid death toll stands at just 35 as of today, with no locally-transmitted infection for weeks. What are the secrets behind this miraculous success, especially for a relatively poor country sharing a long border with China?