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.
- In Brazil, 23.8mn people have already received at least the first dose of vaccination. Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga, however, reduced estimates of new doses to be received in the coming months.
- In Colombia, the vaccine rollout is increasing in efficiency; it took 28 days to administer the first 1mn doses, 14 days to administer the second million, and 10 days to administer the next million doses.
- Nigeria directed its healthcare agencies to stop giving first doses of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine once they use half their current stock to safeguard supply for the second dose. The order was given following concerns that further supply will be delayed due to a temporary export stop imposed by the government of India, where Nigeria’s AZ supply is manufactured.
- Peru’s government is relaunching its vaccination strategy from 16 April and aims to have all those aged over 80 vaccinated by end-April; the government also expects Pfizer deliveries to increase by an additional 1mn doses over May.
- The vaccination campaign is picking up pace in Poland in line with the increasing vaccine deliveries; the government expects to start immunizing employees in large- and medium-sized companies in mid-May.
- South Africa’s authorities have provisionally suspended the administration of the J&J vaccine over safety concerns – a tough call as the country’s delayed vaccine rollout currently hinges on a pipeline of 31mn J&J and 20mn Pfizer shots.
- Thailand has started to vaccinate the residents of Phuket island in a targeted effort to build geographical herd immunity. Its goal is to protect enough of the roughly 500,000 residents to allow vaccinated tourists in by July without need for quarantine. If successful, the program could be extended to other tourist destinations by October.
- The African Union has reportedly dropped plans to procure AZ vaccines for its member states from the Serum Institute of India. While the majority of 600mn shots supplied via COVAX will be AZ vaccines, the AU will now focus on procuring up to 400mn doses from J&J.
- The replacement of the health and foreign ministers in April increases the probability that the Czech Republic will acquire the Sputnik V vaccine from Russia.
- Indonesia is planning on buying more vaccines from China because it expects to receive only 20 million doses of AZ from India instead of the 50mn originally planned through bilateral procurement. Jakarta is similarly concerned of the status of 54mn AZ doses it expects from the COVAX initiative.
- In Argentina, members of the governing coalition have accused the opposition of risking a vaccine boycott by questioning the efficacy of the Sinopharm vaccine, and in particular, the wisdom of delaying the second dose of the Chinese vaccine.
- Health authorities in Chile have sought to reassure the public about the safety and efficacy of the Sinovac vaccine after the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledged questions about the effectiveness of Chinese-made coronavirus vaccines; 88% of jabs administered in Chile have been with the Sinovac vaccine.
Infections and new variants
- Thailand is experiencing its worst spike since the start of the pandemic and variants are being blamed. Although the absolute numbers are still low, restrictions could tighten later in April if there is a sustained rise in cases.
- Production of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is expected to begin in Serbia and Iran in the coming weeks; besides Russia, the vaccine is already produced in Belarus and Kazakhstan.
- Despite serving as the main source of vaccines in many developing countries, China‘s vaccine diplomacy is hitting stumbles related to inadequate supply and concerns about efficacy.
- Mexico’s foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard is planning a trip to Russia, China, and India in a bid to ensure vaccine agreements remain on track; Ebrard’s greatest challenge may come in Russia, which has only delivered 900,000 doses out of 24mn ordered