Around 50 countries around the world have already started vaccinating their people against COVID-19, barely a year after the first alert by China signalled the start of the epidemic.

China Leads The Way

China, where the pandemic first emerged, was also the first to start vaccinations over the summer, without waiting for a vaccine to be formally authorised but targeting the most vulnerable.

To date nearly five million Chinese people have been vaccinated. Beijing on Thursday granted "conditional" market approval to a Sinopharm vaccine with a reported 79 percent efficacy rate against COVID-19.

Russia followed on 5 December, rolling out vaccinations for those considered high risk with its contentious Sputnik V vaccine, which has since been approved in Belarus and Argentina, which launched their vaccination campaigns on Tuesday.

Algeria is set to follow them in January.

Britain First In The West

Britain led the way in the Western world, authorising the vaccine made by US-German pharma alliance Pfizer-BioNTech. Its vaccination campaign started on 8 December and by 27 December close to 950,000 people had received their jabs, according to official figures published Thursday.

Britain was also the first on Wednesday to approve the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University. It will be administered for the first time on 4 January.

Canada and the United States (US) started their vaccination drives on 14 December, Switzerland on the 23rd, Serbia the 24th, the vast majority of the European Union (EU) on 27 December, Norway on Sunday and Iceland on Tuesday. All of them are using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The US and Canada are also the first two countries to have authorised the vaccine by US pharma company Moderna, which is up for approval on 6 January by the EU.

Around 2.8 million Americans have already been given their first dose of the COVID-19 jab. In the 27-nation EU, Germany has so far given the most injections, with more than 130,000 in five days.

Israeli Target

In the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates were the first to launch their vaccination campaign with doses of China's Sinopharm, on 14 December in the capital Abu Dhabi. Dubai started its vaccinations on 23 December, using doses of Pfizer-BioNTech.

Saudi Arabia and Bahrain launched their campaigns on 17 December, Israel two days later, Qatar on the 23rd, Kuwait the 24th, and Oman on 27 December.

All are solely using the Pfizer- BioNTech jab, except for Bahrain which is also using China's Sinopharm.

Israel, which has set itself the ambitious goal of inoculating a quarter of its population in a month, has already injected nearly 800,000 people. Bahrain has vaccinated nearly 60,000 and Oman more than 3,000.

Turkey, which has received doses of China's Sinovac, will launch its vaccination drive in mid-January.

In Latin America, Mexico, Chile and Costa Rica were the first to launch, on 24 December, jabs with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

In Asia, Singapore launched its campaign on Wednesday with the same vaccine.

Other countries on the Asian continent however have decided to take their time: India, Japan and Taiwan plan to begin vaccinations in the first quarter of 2021 and the Philippines and Pakistan in the second quarter, while Afghanistan and Thailand plan to start in mid-2021.

In sub-Saharan Africa and in Oceania vaccinations have yet to take off. But in West Africa, Guinea this week administered its first few doses of Russia's Sputnik V on a trial basis.


Information from https://www.aciworldwide.com/lp/new-payments-use-cases/self-authenticate-global-identity-registry Universal Payments


In a more complex, open, digital payments environment, customers need a simple and safe way to authenticate themselves across all payment types, anywhere in the world.


1. How to prove your identity? Identity needs to be a universal standard across all payment types

2. How to make it ubiquitous? Sign up and self management needs to be available in all countries and location types

3. How to protect the customer experience and the merchant? Seamless, intuitive, personalized management and application that enhances fraud prevention


1. Leverage a global identity registry for payments that enables customers to authenticate themselves across all payment types, even ones that are not yet commonplace in their country of residence. The current authentication piece of the new payments ecosystem is highly fragmented and confusing for the consumer, which can lead to fraud instances as they fail to protect themselves from fraudsters. A single identity registry with clear and simple controls helps consumers to understand and regain control of their identity and payments. A single standard would reduce perceived risk around unfamiliar payment options and security experiences to drive consumer spending in a globalized digital economy.

2. Create an omni-channel sign-up and management process to cater to all demographics. A fully digital registration process initiated via fingerprint and managed via a smart device might work well for the tech-savvy in developed, urban environments. But for the elderly, an in-branch assisted self-service process where they can receive trusted guidance face to face could be more beneficial for the customer experience. For lower density population areas or developing nations without high smartphone penetration, physical registration and management booths that allow on-demand access to a full digital experience could support feature-phone distribution of identity tokens that local merchants can accept.

3. Create certainty in the transaction for both consumer and merchant with a single, global identity registry to authenticate against for all payment types, including card-not-present eCommerce transactions across borders. Merchants rest assured that the payment is not fraudulent, and consumers are confident that their payments will complete and they will receive their goods. Even familiar payment types can be riskier for both consumer and merchant when parties are unknown, or transaction values are high. Use of blockchain or other distributed ledger technology to protect the data would also contribute to a more secure, improved experience for payments.

CX optimization

Apply the same globally accepted identity that is leveraged for payments authentication to other universal authentication networks to allow travel without paperwork and improved visa applications. Better authentication would also enable the creation of new ways to pay that leverage the security of a single source of authentication truth.

The World Economic Forum will convene the Special Annual Meeting 2021 in Singapore from 25-28 May.

It will return to Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, for the Annual Meeting 2022.

The Special Annual Meeting 2021 in Singapore will be the first global leadership event to address worldwide recovery from the pandemic. This in-person meeting will bring together leaders to focus on shaping solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. Further details will be announced in due course.

A global leadership summit is of crucial importance to address how we can recover together,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. “The Special Annual Meeting 2021 will be a place for leaders from business, government and civil society to meet in person for the first time since the start of the global pandemic.

Public-private cooperation is needed more than ever to rebuild trust and address the fault lines that emerged in 2020.”

The change in location reflects the Forum’s priority of safeguarding the health and safety of participants and the host community. After careful consideration, and in light of the current situation with regards to COVID-19 cases, it was decided that Singapore was best placed to hold the meeting.

During the usual “Davos week”, which in 2021 runs from 25-29 January, the Forum will host a virtual event to rebuild trust and shape the principles, policies and partnerships needed for 2021. The Davos Agenda will feature participation from heads of state and government, chief executive officers, civil society leaders, global media and youth leaders from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and North America. Building a better future for work, accelerating stakeholder capitalism and harnessing the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be important topics on the agenda.

Ahead of the Special Annual Meeting 2021, the Forum will host the Global Technology Governance Summit in Tokyo from 6-7 April 2021. This will feature global stakeholders from government, business and civil society dedicated to ensuring the responsible design and deployment of emerging technologies through public-private collaboration.

Notes to editors

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