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Emerging Markets: Covid-19 Vaccination Strategies and Challenges 1.12.22

January 12, 2022
By Wolfango Piccoli

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 the latest developments. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss any of the countries mentioned in more detail.

Click on 'View PDF' to see the table.



Vaccine Rollout

  • By the end of January, Brazil expects to start vaccinating children above the age of five with the Pfizer vaccine.
  • In Chile, fourth jabs are being rolled out to those with weakened immune systems; fourth jabs will be administered from February to over 55s whose last shot was six months or more ago.
  • Despite low vaccination rates of around 13%, Kenya sought to introduce vaccine mandates for public spaces and services as of 21 December; a high court order suspended the measure pending hearings in January.
  • Russia is expected to start inoculating adolescents aged 12-17 years-old with the domestically developed Sputnik M vaccine later in January.
  • South Africa’s government is still deciding whether to implement a public-sector vaccine mandate; private companies are increasingly requiring vaccination, but a legal process to confirm the legality of workplace vaccine mandates is still underway.
  • Turkey’s domestically-produced vaccine Turkovac, was approved by the Turkish Health Ministry on 22 Dec and subsequently included in the country’s vaccination program and began to be offered to the public.
  • Hungary is considering the roll out of a fourth vaccine dose, as first booster vaccinations (third dose) were given more than five months ago.
  • In Nigeria, vaccine rollout plans continue to be hampered by recent concerns over recently donated vaccines nearing their expiration date. In December, the government confirmed that it destroyed up to one million doses of expired AstraZeneca vaccines that were donated to the country with less than one week shelf life left.

Vaccine Procurement

  • Colombia’s initial vaccine contracts with Pfizer, Moderna, J&J, Sinovac and AZ have all been fulfilled. The government expects 20mn doses from a variety of suppliers over H1/2022, while it has around 5mn of stocks still to distribute.
  • Mexico’s health regulator Cofepris has authorized the use of the Cuban-developed Abdala vaccine; Abdala is a three-dose protein subunit vaccine. Despite obtaining regulatory clearance, Mexico has not yet made an order for the vaccine from the Cuban government.
  • Poland and the Czech Republic have contracted 4mn and 370,000 doses of the newly approved Novavax vaccine respectively through the European Union’s joint procurement mechanism. First deliveries are expected in early 2022.

Infections and New Variants

  • Cases have spiked in Brazil amid a surge in cases of the Omicron variant. Authorities have cancelled the annual carnival celebrations and are discussing new restrictions to avoid crowding.
  • Chile saw an 87% increase in cases last week versus the previous seven days as the Omicron variant spreads; the government expects the daily caseload to reach record highs later this month.
  • China's first domestically transmitted Omicron cases appeared in Tianjin on 8 January; the arrival of Omicron will test the limits of China's zero-tolerance approach based on mass testing and targeted lockdowns.
  • Peru has brought in new restrictions, including a longer night-time curfew, in an effort to limit the spread of the Omicron variant, which now accounts for over 80% of cases in Lima; while the vaccine rollout has been successful, authorities are worried that the health system remains in a precarious state and would struggle to handle an increase in hospitalizations.
  • Following a two month-long decline, Russia is experiencing a slight uptick in new infections linked to the Omicron variant. Authorities are concerned that the new variant will lift case numbers to all-time highs in the next few weeks.
  • On 30 December, South Africa eased pandemic restrictions to its lowest level since March 2020 as Omicron-driven cases began declining. A new approach to pandemic management – guided less by overall infection levels and more by hospitalization rates – is emerging, with the government prioritizing vaccination over economically disruptive lockdowns.
  • In Central Europe, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland are bracing for a fifth wave of the pandemic amid an uptick in infections linked to the spreading Omicron variant.
  • In late December, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) declared that the country had entered a fourth Covid wave after the agency recorded a 500% increase in the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases (caused by the Delta and Omicron variants) in the first two weeks of December.

Vaccine Diplomacy

  • So far during the pandemic, Argentina has donated 3.3mn AZ vaccines part-manufactured locally; the biggest recipients have been Bolivia (1mn doses) and Egypt (which is about to receive 1mn doses). Smaller recipients include several Caribbean states, though Haiti reportedly turned down the Argentine donation offer.
  • Colombia is set to receive 5.8mn Pfizer vaccine doses from Spain via the Covax initiative, bringing the total number of Spanish donations to Colombia to over 6.5mn doses, above those of the US, which has donated 6mn doses.
  • Taiwan's homegrown vaccine, developed by Medigen, is now accepted for travelers to five countries: Thailand, Indondesia, Belize, Palau, and New Zealand. In addition, 60 countries, including the EU and US, now accept Taiwan's digital vaccine certificate as proof of vaccination or PCR test results.
  • Monthly international shipments of Chinese-made Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines declined from a peak of over 100mn each in summer and early fall to around half that in November and December, according to UNICEF. The decline likely reflects falling demand, given Chinese vaccines' lower efficacy.
  • Following earlier criticisms that Western partners were subjecting Africa to "vaccine nationalism", there has been a relative increase in vaccine donations to the continent in recent months. But new concerns have emerged that the continent has become a dumping ground for expired (or near-expired) vaccines.
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The views and opinions in these articles are solely of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Teneo. They are offered to stimulate thought and discussion and not as legal, financial, accounting, tax or other professional advice or counsel.

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