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More than 50 percent of the global population has received at least one COVID-19 shot, researchers say

Alex Lewandowski prepares a dose of a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine Nov. 4 at a vaccine center in Barboursville, W.V.Sholten Singer | The Herald-Dispatch/Associated Press

Nearly 11 months after the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine was administered outside of a clinical trial, the world reached a critical milestone in the fight against the virus: more than 50 percent of the global population has received at least one shot, according to researchers at the Our World in Data project.

Data reported by the group, which is based at the University of Oxford, indicate that the world hit the 50 percent threshold sometime between last Thursday and Friday.

“Sometime in past 24 hours, we surpassed 50% of humanity with at least 1 shot of a COVID vaccine,” Dr. Ashish K. Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health and a leading expert on infectious diseases, said in a tweet Friday, citing the data. “There are now more humans who’ve gotten a vaccine than humans who have not. Progress!”


According to the Our World website, 7.28 billion doses of COVID vaccine have been administered globally as of Nov. 7. That’s 4.02 billion people with at least one shot in the arm. The number of people fully vaccinated worldwide totals 3.13 billion, or 39.7 percent of the world’s population, according to the data.

The milestone marks progress in the global vaccination campaign, though rates in some countries have plateaued and many poorer nations only have a tiny fraction of their populations vaccinated, according to the data.

The vaccines have not been distributed equally — many wealthier countries have inoculation rates well above the global average, while developing countries lag behind. Just 4.1 percent of people in countries that are considered low income have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the data.

In the US, 67.4 percent of the population has now received at least one dose, and 58.4 percent of people are fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rates in Massachusetts are well above the US average, with 77.5 percent of people with at least one dose and 68.9 percent fully vaccinated, according to the state’s Department of Public Health.


Andrew Brinker can be reached at Follow him @andrewnbrinker.