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, the Health Ministry announced a 31% reduction on vaccines to be delivered in May – from 46.9mn doses to 32.4mn. The reduction is allegedly caused by delays on the licensing of Covaxin and Sputnik V by the health regulator.
- In Chile, health authorities are prioritizing the provision of second doses because of concerns that a single jab of Sinovac’s vaccine offers only limited protection; a third of the population has now received a double dose.
- Hungary is testing its mass inoculation campaign by temporarily opening up vaccination to all adults willing to get a Sinopharm jab.
- In Kenya, which has brought forward phase 2 of its vaccine rollout in response to a third Covid-19 wave, officials face allegations of bribery and cutting lines ahead of priority groups.
- Vaccine supply difficulties have obliged the caretaker government in Peru to revise down its vaccination target; it now plans to vaccinate 4.65mn people (14.3% of the population) by 28 July, down from 9mn previously.
- In Poland, adults of all age groups will be allowed to register for a Covid-19 jab by 9 May. In addition, the government is planning to start mass vaccination in workplaces by mid-May.
- To speed up vaccination in Russia, Moscow’s authorities are expanding the number of vaccination sites in the city and introducing financial incentives for elderly persons to get immunized.
- South Africa’s very slow vaccine rollout should soon accelerate, as a temporary suspension of the J&J vaccine is lifted and arrivals of contracted vaccine doses (31mn from J&J and 30mn from Pfizer) are to ramp up starting this week.
- A deal has been brokered between Argentina and Russia’s RDIF sovereign wealth fund for a local pharma company (Richmond) to produce the Sputnik V vaccine locally, though the aim of producing at scale as soon as June looks optimistic.
- Indonesia is trying to broaden its vaccine pipeline from China and the US due to delays in the arrival of AZ vaccines from India. Specifically, it is hoping to obtain 90mn to 100mn more doses from China, with 10mn-15mn for this second quarter. Indonesia’s vaccination rate has dropped to around 300,000 per day due from a peak of 500,000 due to supply issues.
- Mexico has announced that the state-owned Birmex pharma company has reached an agreement with Russia’s RDIF to fill and label Sputnik V vaccine vials and package them locally from June.
- The Philippines is scheduled to receive a nominal shipment of 15,000 doses of Sputnik V after a call between President Rodrigo Duterte and President Vladimir Putin. Another 485,000 doses are expected in May.
- Thailand may accelerate its vaccine purchases to head off criticism that it is too dependent on the local production of AZ, especially with the country going through its most serious spike since the start of the pandemic last year.
- In Colombia, 28.4% of adults say they will not get vaccinated, down from almost 40% last November, according to the latest Invamer poll.
- A United Surveys poll conducted in April showed that around 69% of Poland’s residents were willing to get vaccinated, similar to a March poll.
Infections and new variants
- India will receive medical aid from several countries to combat the worst Covid-19 outbreak in the world. Amid concerns about the spread of the B.1.617 Indian variant, many countries have introduced or are considering border closures with India.
- China’s government offered help to India with vaccine supplies, despite rising Sino-Indian tensions since a border dispute in June. Overall, Sinopharm has sent 50mn vaccine doses abroad, while Sinovac has sent 156mn doses abroad, including both donations and commercial exports.
- China’s embassy in the US will grant visas to inbound US travelers who have received Western-made vaccines, a step back from vaccine nationalism.
- Russia’s regulators are set to approve the export-oriented one-jab Sputnik Light vaccine in the first half of May.