All through last year, as first Europe and then the United States suffered catastrophically high coronavirus infections and deaths, Pacific Rim countries staved off disaster through an array of methods. South Korea tested widely. Australia and New Zealand locked down. In Japan, people donned masks and heeded calls to isolate.
suffer catastrophically 災難性地遭受
high coronavirus infections and deaths 新冠肺炎高感染率及死亡率
Now, the roles have been reversed. These countries that largely subdued the virus are among the slowest in the developed world to vaccinate their residents, while countries like Britain and the United States that suffered grievous outbreaks are leapfrogging ahead with inoculations.
The slow rollout in the Asia-Pacific region is starting to frustrate some residents who have grown weary of more than a year of restrictions on travel, restaurant outings and family gatherings. They are eager to exit the purgatory of these measures and get back to normal life, but relief may still be months away.
In Australia and Japan, the authorities have blamed supply problems from Europe for the slow rollout. Australia has said the European Union failed to deliver 3.1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. A spokesman for the European Commission said that only 250,000 doses had been withheld from Australia by Italy in March, but officials in Australia say the reality is that the rest of the doses, blocked or not, simply have not arrived.