updated 2:57 PM CEST, Sep 21, 2023

U.S. expats look to FT 'Covid vaccine tracker' table to monitor situation in their countries

A cropped image of the Financial Times's Covid-19 Vaccine Tracker page A cropped image of the Financial Times's Covid-19 Vaccine Tracker page

A free-to-read, meticulously-maintained table posted on the website of the Financial Times has become a popular tool for American expats – as well as those of other nationalities – who are trying to keep on top of the vaccination trends in the countries in which they live, the American Expat Financial News Journal has discovered.

Even though it actually went live some months ago, and in spite of the fact that we at the AXFNJ are regular Financial Times readers and, as it happens, neighbors of its London headquarters, we only discovered its useful "Covid-19 vaccine tracker" page  after it was brought to our attention by an American expatriate based in Thailand. 

As this and other publications have been reporting in recent weeks, Americans and others living in that country have been struggling to access Covid-19 vaccines, which haven't been widely available there, even as the so-called Delta variant has begun to spread through the population – thus making a resource like the FT's vaccine-tracker page particularly useful, as this American expat explained.

"I’ve found this vaccine tracker page to be particularly useful in understanding vaccination rollouts on a globally comparative level, as well as enabling us to easily monitor the progress that this country [Thailand] is making," the American, who requested anonymity, said.

In June, President Biden said the U.S. would donate 1.5 million vaccines "to the world's lowest-income nations," on a "no-strings-attached" basis. The U.S. Embassy in Thailand said Thailand would receive "a share of safe and effective vaccines from this world-wide donation", although it stopped short of saying that American expats would be given special or advance access to this vaccine shipment.

As reported, many Americans in Thailand have been arguing that because they, like all American expats, are U.S. taxpayers, the U.S. should be providing them with vaccines, as it has done for U.S. military and embassy staff who live abroad, as well as American taxpayers resident in the U.S.

Part of FT's Covid-19 service package

The FT's Coronavirus Tracker page is part of a package of Covid-19 coverage that the FT is providing to readers outside of its paywall, as a service to readers.

As the paper's editor, Roula Khalaf, explains in an introductory note to this coverage, the reason it's making this "key coronavirus coverage free to read" is in order to "keep everyone informed during this extraordinary crisis."

Please share the stories on this page using #FTfreetoread," she adds.

The "Covid-19 Vaccine Tracker" table, shown above, lists some 185 countries, in declining order of their vaccination record. Today, for example, the United Arab Emirates leads the list, with some 78.7% of its population having had at least one dose of some vaccine, as of July 20. The percentage who've been fully vaccinated there is 69.2%.

Thailand, which is in 102nd place on the list as of today, has managed to get 16.6% of its residents vaccinated with at least one dose, and 5.1% with two doses, as of July 21. The U.S. is 28th place – just above France – with 56.2% of its population having had at least one dose, and 48.7% having had two.

The Financial Times says its table is compiled by the Our World in Data project, an Oxford University data research and publishing entity, in conjunction with the World Health Organization and, in some cases, national data sources from various countries. 

The publication's press office didn't immediately reply to a request for how many readers are accessing the table on a given day, or which countries were seen to be making the most use of it.