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COVID vaccines

Mongolia's mass jabs fail to suppress COVID spread

Nation has Asia's highest rates of vaccinations and confirmed infections

A medical worker prepares an injection of the Sinophorm vaccine in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. (Photo by Chadraa Chadraabal)

ULAANBAATAR -- Mongolia has administered more COVID-19 shots relative to its population than any country in Asia, yet this steppe nation lodged between China and Russia also leads Asia in proportional rankings for new COVID-19 cases.

Public health officials say the severity of the outbreak comes down to transmission by young people and other unvaccinated groups along with complacency after the country's initial successful containment of the virus. Compounded by the delta and other COVID-19 variants, these factors are considered more important than shortcomings in the Chinese vaccines that the country has mainly relied on.

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