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.
- Amid a continuing shortage of second doses of the Sputnik V vaccine, Argentina is analyzing whether AstraZeneca (AZ), Sinopharm and CanSino vaccines can be used on people who have received a first dose of the Sputnik V vaccine.
- Colombia‘s vaccination program exceeded its target of administering 17mn doses by the end of June; the delivery of US-donated single-shot Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccines should help the government meet its new target to apply 25mn doses by end-July.
- Mexico‘s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) has reiterated his promise that every adult will have been offered at least one vaccine dose by October.
- In Peru, 26% of the population over 60 has still not received even a single vaccine dose; the government is working on plans to increase vaccine uptake, including house-to-house visits.
- In Russia, compulsory vaccination of certain occupational groups is accelerating the rollout. More than 6mn (out of 26mn) people got their first doses during the past two weeks; however, 54% of residents are still not willing to get vaccinated.
- In Brazil, the government hopes to immunize the whole adult population by the end of 2021. Regional governments are targeting unvaccinated and misinformed communities.
- South Africa is reconsidering acquiring AZ vaccines (earlier abandoned in favor of J &J and Pfizer-BioNTech (Pfizer) vaccines), while health regulator SAHPRA has authorized Sinovac’s CoronaVac and is reviewing the Sputnik V and Sinopharm vaccines.
- The World Bank has approved an additional USD 130mn financing for Kenya to help the country procure more vaccines via the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) and COVAX facilities.
- Argentina‘s President Alberto Fernandez has signed a decree to overcome regulatory and legal hurdles that have hindered the acquisition of US-made vaccines such as Pfizer and Moderna.
Infections and new variants
- The spread of the Delta variant is behind a new Covid-19 wave in many countries, including the UK, Indonesia, Thailand, Russia, Iran, Bangladesh, Portugal, South Africa and Kenya. In countries where the vaccine rollout has been slower, the increase in hospital admissions and deaths will most likely be followed by a tightening of lockdowns.
- In Chile, where the first cases of the Delta variant have been confirmed, President Sebastian Pinera has said that there are sufficient stocks of vaccines to administer third “booster” doses should they prove necessary.
- South Korea has hit a six-month-high in cluster infections with increasing variants; 80% of these cases are in Seoul and contact tracing is more challenging with less than a third being successful.
- South Africa‘s Aspen Pharmacare will receive EUR 600mn from an International Finance Corporation (IFC) consortium, in partnership with US, French and German development finance institutions, to spur the development of vaccine manufacturing capacity in Africa. Aspen is now expected to produce 250mn J&J vaccine doses by year-end.
- South Africa is due to receive a donation of 1mn Pfizer doses from the US within the next few weeks.
- Amid slowing vaccination progress at home, Hungary has donated a total of 300,000 Sinopharm doses to Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina.
- A leaked government memo about the possible need for booster shots for those who received the Sinovac vaccine is generating public complaints in Thailand of a lack of transparency. Officials say they did not want to undermine perceptions of the Chinese vaccine.