This Place Has Vaccinated Entire Adult Population

Gibraltar, a British territory with about 30K people, gets the distinction
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2021 2:34 PM CDT
This Place Has Vaccinated Entire Adult Population
A man works in a barbershop in Gibraltar on March 4, 2021.   (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

When it comes to COVID, the British territory of Gibraltar now has some bragging rights. Health officials say every adult who wanted a vaccination has received one, reports the Evening Standard. The territory—all three square miles of it in the Mediterranean, on the southern edge of Spain—has only 33,000 residents. Earlier this month, the AP wrote about Gibraltar's successful vaccination program, dubbed Operation Freedom, and the "end-of-hibernation feeling" that has resulted. Bars, shops, and schools are now open, and vaccinations also have been administered to the large population of imported workers who commute from Spain. The development follows a bad stretch in January and February, when a surge in cases accounted for nearly all of Gibraltar's 93 deaths to date.

“I am delighted to be able to tell the house that yesterday, Gibraltar became the first nation in the world to complete its entire adult vaccination program," said British health secretary Matt Hancock. However, the Washington Post reports that Vatican City actually claimed the milestone first. The AP's story points out that the very reason that made Gibraltar vulnerable—its residents living together in close proximity—also contributed to the success of the vaccination program, because word of mouth is thought to have helped greatly. Only 3.5% of people have refused the shots. About 4,000 residents have been infected since the start of the pandemic, and of 26 active cases, 10 are visitors. (More Gibraltar stories.)

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