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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Countries that were quicker to establish social distancing and contact tracking systems kept Covid-19 under control, but their citizens are now behind in the race to be vaccinated and finally end a pandemic that has killed millions.

Governments in countries like Japan, Australia, Hong Kong and South Korea are taking longer to grant regulatory approvals for vaccines, in stark contrast to Western countries which have rushed to inoculate populations.

This cautious approach may seem odd, given the pressing need to return to normal life, but with low infection rates, Asian governments can wait to see . . .

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