亞洲四小龍裡台灣暫時墊底 數據曝疫苗接種率需再加強|Analysis | Taiwan race toward full vaccination must continue

This chart shows the share of the population fully vaccinated against Covid-19. (Courtesy of Our World in Data)

【看CP學英文】科學家原本預計,一個國家要達到對新冠病毒的群體免疫(herd immunity),就必須有七成以上的人口完成疫苗接種。

Scientists initially estimated that seven out of ten people would have to acquire resistance to COVID-19 for herd immunity to take effect.

這個標準自年初以來已向上修正,在某些情況下甚至要達到80% 至 85%。亞洲各國若想迎來經濟復甦新春天,群體免疫是必要條件。

The threshold, which has been revised upward since the start of the year with 80 to 85 percent quoted in some cases, is seen as the necessary condition among Asian economies to begin their recovery.

縱觀台灣、新加坡、香港、南韓和日本目前在境內實行的嚴峻防疫措施,會明顯地發現僅從阻止社區感染這方面著手並不足以對抗疫情,因此當務之急是讓全體人民完成疫苗接種。

This race toward full vaccination has become increasingly urgent, knowing that the previous emphasis on preventing the virus from spreading in the community has partially failed despite the tough restrictions put in place in Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan.

Our World in Data 數據顯示,亞洲各國完成疫苗接種的人口比例多寡不一,少至0.38% (越南),多至 29.44% (香港),但距離國際標準仍有明顯落差。

According to Our World in Data, the share of the population fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in Asia has ranged from less than 0.38% in Vietnam to 29.44% in Hong Kong, which is far from the aforesaid targets.

所謂「完成疫苗接種」,是指依據疫苗接種規定施打所需的疫苗劑量。就台灣而言,要完成疫苗接種就必須施打兩劑疫苗。截至 7 月 23 日,台灣僅有0.96% 的人民已完成兩劑疫苗接種,而完成一劑疫苗接種的人口則達到24.73%。台灣人民疫苗接種比例能達到此水平固然很不簡單,但仍有待加強。

In Taiwan, 0.96% percent of the population had been fully vaccinated as of July 23, while 24.73% had been partially vaccinated against COVID-19 which is impressive, yet insufficient. Full vaccination refers to all doses prescribed by the vaccination protocol.

台灣政府近期獲得1500萬劑輝瑞疫苗(Pfizer-BNT)和3600萬劑莫德納疫苗(Moderna),看來民眾接種疫苗計劃有望加速。儘管如此,跟香港、新加坡和南韓相比,台灣的疫苗接種率仍在亞洲四小龍裡暫時吊車尾。

Taiwan is for sure lagging other Asian Tigers — Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea, even though the government’s recent procurements of 15 million doses of the Pfizer-BNT vaccine and 36 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine are poised to boost its vaccination drive.

無論如何,台灣民眾應謹記,要達到群體免疫的水平還須等候多個月,想要國際邊界全面開放則須等待更久,期間還有可能爆發變種病例,因此民眾不應大意,應該維持謹慎防疫。

Yet, Taiwan’s public must keep in mind that it will take several months before herd immunity is reached and even longer before all restrictions on international travel are eventually lifted, not to mention the risk of another variant spreading in the region in the meantime.

像是最早在南非發現的 Beta 變種病毒(也稱501.V2 或B.1.351變種病毒)就具有顯著的基因變化,專家擔心Beta 病毒會更具傳染力,也會對宿主(也就是人類)構成更大的威脅。

The Beta variant, for instance, has some significant genetic changes that worry experts for making the virus even more infectious or threatening to the host — humans. The variant, also known as 501.V2 or B.1.351, was first identified in South Africa.

為了因應此病毒傳播,各國醫療專家已建議在社區裡增加普篩以阻止病毒蔓延,而台灣應該在推動疫苗接種計劃的同時,也加快腳步採納專家建議,才能盡快達到群體免疫與病毒抗衡,讓人民生活早點回歸正常。

Against this risk, health authorities worldwide have recommended surge testing in the community to help stop the spread. That’s also the direction Taiwan should take to keep its edge on the virus while pushing forward with full vaccination.