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March 19, 2021

Macro

EMERGING MARKETS: Covid-19 Vaccination Strategies and Challenges

BY Teneo Macro

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Our Covid-19 vaccination table includes updated information on the immunization strategies selected EMs are pursuing and the challenges they face.

Below are some of this week’s key developments. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you want to discuss any of the countries mentioned in more detail.

Click on ‘View PDF’ to see the table.


HIGHLIGHTS

Vaccine roll-out

  • On 16 March, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) held a meeting to review the safety of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine. Vaccine rollouts – heavily reliant on AZ vaccines recently delivered under the COVAX initiative – are finally getting under way in multiple African countries.
  • Chile is ahead of schedule in its target of providing a first dose to 26% of its population by the end of Q1 at the same time as new daily cases of coronavirus hit heights not seen since the June 2020 peak.
  • Greece is on course to administer 1.5mn vaccines by end March, with almost 4% of the population already having received both doses.
  • In Hungary, the robust pace of vaccination associated with the deliveries of the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine puts the country on track to achieve its objective of providing 20% of its population with the first shot by early April.
  • Russia is unlikely to achieve its earlier target to vaccinate 20mn people by the end of Q1.
  • In South Africa, concerns about the slow vaccine roll-out are growing ahead of the next pandemic wave, which is expected during the winter months (June-August) or possibly earlier.
  • Thailand has cleared the AZ vaccine for domestic use, with the prime minister receiving a delayed symbolic jab on 16 March. In the meantime, Indonesia is suspending administering the vaccine until after getting confirmation of its safety, especially from the WHO.

Vaccine procurement

  • In Argentina, as the delivery of Sputnik V vaccines has stalled, the government is optimistic that a further 3mn doses of the Sinopharm vaccine will arrive in the last week of March and that the ANMAT health regulator will approve its use in the over 60s.
  • In Hungary, deliveries of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine are lagging behind schedule.

Vaccine hesitancy

  • In China, anecdotal evidence suggests vaccine hesitancy, given lack of full disclosure of clinical data on Chinese vaccines. Low domestic case numbers also reduce the incentives to seek a vaccine for Chinese who do not travel abroad.

Infections and new variants

  • Colombia is continuing to prioritize the dispatch of vaccines to its Amazonas department because of the prevalence of the Brazilian Covid-19 variant in the area; Colombia’s Amazonas region borders Brazil.
  • In Peru, where the vaccine rollout is moving slowly, health authorities are worried about the potential for a “third wave” of infections brought on by the upcoming Easter vacation and 11 April elections.
  • The Philippines is seeing its worst spike since the summer last year, and the increase is steepest in cities or localities where new variants have taken hold.
  • Soaring infections in Poland are linked to the spread of the B.1.1.7 variant of the virus first identified in UK, which is estimated to account for nearly 40% of all new cases; new countrywide restrictions are becoming increasingly likely in the coming days.

Vaccine diplomacy

  • Brazil appeared to shift its stance on allowing Huawei to participate in 5G telecom procurement tenders after China agreed to supply vaccines, though the Brazilian government denies a quid pro quo.
  • President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) has reiterated his public gratitude towards China, India, and Russia for their help in supplying Mexico with vaccines; meanwhile, the US has announced that it will share 2.5mn doses of the AZ vaccine with Mexico and 1.5mn with Canada.

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