What’s causing vaccine delays in some Asian countries?

An estimated 160 million Covid-19 vaccinations have been administered so far globally, but most have been in the US and Europe.

In Asia, vaccination programs are steadily progressing in places like India which has administered around 14 million doses since January.

In other countries however, vaccine programs are either yet to begin or are still at a very early stage. The reasons have been varied – ranging from an abundance of caution to high levels of vaccine scepticism.

In the Philippines, many still recall the Dengvaxia vaccine scare – introduced in 2016 to inoculate against dengue fever.

Two years later it was suddenly suspended due to fears of side effects when some children who received it died.

The country’s health secretary was prosecuted leading to a massive controversy. Public health officials say the incident led to a surge of vaccine scepticism threatening to hijack the country’s plans to use the vaccines as a way out of the pandemic.

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