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Countries Are Scrambling for COVID Vaccines. Mongolia Has Plenty.


At a time when most countries are scrambling for #coronavirus vaccines, Mongolia now has enough to fully vaccinate its entire adult population, in large part thanks to deals with both China and Russia.


Mongolia, a country of grassy hills, vast deserts and endless skies, has a population not much bigger than Chicago’s. The small democratic nation is used to living in the shadow of its powerful neighbors, Russia and China. But during a pandemic, being a small nation sandwiched between two vaccine makers with global ambitions can have advantages. At a time when most countries are scrambling for coronavirus vaccines, Mongolia now has enough to fully vaccinate its entire adult population, in large part thanks to deals with both China and Russia. Officials are so confident about the nation’s vaccine riches that they are promising citizens a “Covid-free summer.” Mongolia’s success in procuring the vaccines in the span of a few months is a big victory for a low-income, developing nation. Many poor countries have been waiting in line for shots, hoping for the best. But Mongolia, using its status as a small geopolitical player between Russia and China, was able to snap up doses at a clip similar to that of much wealthier countries.

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