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 administration of the first dose of Covid-19 vaccines fell 17% in the last week. This happened amid fears of a third-wave, lack of active pharmaceutical ingredients and import difficulties. Similarly, the administration of second vaccine doses fell by 23%. The Health Ministry expects the pace to be recovered in June.
- With over 40% of Chile’s population having received a double vaccine dose, the government is working on a digital certificate for people to demonstrate their vaccination status.
- In Greece, the vaccine uptake among the elderly remains low by EU standards – 64.6% for over-80s, 68% for 70-79 and 53.1% for 60-69.
- Peru has been vaccinating at a rate of 55,000 doses daily over the past seven days; to cover the population aged over 18 by the end of 2021, the daily number would need to increase to around 98,000.
- To sustain a rapid pace of immunization, Poland’s government is introducing various financial incentives – including lottery tickets – for vaccinated residents and local governments with the highest vaccination rates.
- Amid slow vaccination progress in Russia, the federal and regional authorities are discussing mandatory vaccination for certain groups of residents.
- Phase 2 of South Africa’s vaccination rollout started on 17 May, targeting those over 60, while supply shortages should ease as large volumes of Pfizer and J&J vaccines arrive on a monthly basis.
- The percentage of Thais willing to be vaccinated dropped to 63% in May from 83% in January, according to a YouGov poll, on par with the Philippines’ 63% and lower than Vietnam’s 88%.
- Argentina and Mexico will each receive 800,000 doses of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine in the coming days; this is the first batch of the vaccine produced jointly between the two countries. The plan is to produce vaccines to supply the rest of Latin America (except Brazil, which has a separate agreement with AZ).
- Colombia’s government is lobbying the US for a vaccine “loan” so that it can accelerate its rollout.
- Hungary opted out of the latest EU-wide deal to obtain Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines as the government considers having already contracted enough doses to re-vaccinate its population in 2022.
- Kenya expects to run out of Covid-19 vaccines by the end of May or early June. The country has received just 1.02mn AZ doses of 3.6mn doses that COVAX was due to deliver by May.
- Other African countries that have already exhausted their COVAX vaccines include Ghana, Rwandaand Senegal, while countries like Malawi and South Sudan have destroyed thousands of shots that had already expired.
- Vietnam has set up a special fund for the procurement of up to 150mn doses by the end of the year. It reveals an uncharacteristic misstep for the government, which wanted to rely on a domestically-produced vaccine but is now scrambling to purchase vaccines from abroad as its own local vaccine may not be ready in volume until much later this year.
Infections and new variants
- Six African countries have now reported cases of the B.1.617 variant first identified in India: Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Morocco, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda.
- In Brazil, three states (Para, Maranhão and Ceara) are investigating cases of the B 1.617 variant first identified in India.
- International Monetary Fund (IMF) MD Kristalina Georgieva has proposed a USD 50bn global initiative to overcome the vaccination gap between rich and poor countries. The proposal aims to vaccinate at least 40% of the global population by end-2021 and 60% by H1 2022 via USD 4bn in grants to COVAX, donations of surplus doses, and ensuring flows of raw materials and vaccines.
- After a center dispensing the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was swamped last week, the Philippinegovernment stopped providing advance notice of the type of vaccine people would be receiving in their first dose. According to one national poll released this week, two out of three Filipinos prefer US-made vaccines.
- Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen accused the Chinese government of interfering to block a deal in December for Pfizer-BioNTech to sell to Taiwan.