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Emerging Markets: Covid-19 Vaccination Strategies and Challenges 2.9.22

February 9, 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

  • In Brazil, the government is considering authorizing a second booster shot for every eligible person over 18 years old. Since December, the Ministry of Health had recommended a second booster shot exclusively for immuno-suppressed individuals.
  • The Czech Republic on 9 February removed the requirement to present vaccine or recovery certificates to access various public and private services as well as events. A further easing of restrictions and testing is expected in the coming weeks.
  • The Philippines, Thailand, and Malaysia in February started to vaccinate 5-11 year-olds.
  • Poland’s government has indicated that the vaccine mandate for teachers, healthcare professionals, and uniformed services initially planned by 1 March could be postponed.
  • While around 48% of Russia’s population has been fully vaccinated to date, only around 35% have been immunized during the past six months.
  • While South Africa’s government has not yet decided whether to impose a vaccine mandate, mandates imposed at private companies are increasingly being upheld in court.
  • Turkey’s domestically produced vaccine Turkovac went into production in December and has been offered to the public, though no data is available on the number of doses produced. The government has been criticized by Turkish health professionals for failing to publish figures on Turkovac’s efficacy.

Vaccine Procurement

  • Argentina in January reached an agreement to buy 18.5mn doses of the Pfizer vaccine (additional to an initial contract for 20mn Pfizer doses) to be delivered over 2022. In addition, 20mn doses of the Moderna vaccine will be delivered by end-2022.
  • Colombia will receive 10.8mn doses of the Moderna vaccine over the course of 2022 (6mn of these in Q2); these are in addition to the 13mn Moderna doses delivered over 2021.
  • Mexico’s Cofepris regulator in January approved two new antiviral oral treatments for Covid-19 (Merck’s Molnupiravir and Pfizer’s Paxlovid); both drugs will only be available with a prescription.
  • Peru’s now ex-health minister, Hernando Cevallos, has called on vaccine makers to extend expiry dates beyond three months because of logistical challenges in reaching remote, inaccessible areas.
  • South Africa’s health regulator SAHPRA has authorized Chinese Covid-19 vaccine Sinopharm, in addition to the four other approved vaccine brands: Sinovac, AstraZeneca, J&J and Pfizer-BioNTech. Only the latter two have been administered to date.

Infections and New Variants

  • Although Chile has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, the spread of the Omicron variant remains evident. In the week ending 4 February, hospitalizations underwent their biggest weekly rise for 20 months, while deaths attributed to Covid-19 also saw their biggest rise in almost six months. Caseloads are at the highest level of the pandemic so far.
  • Three Southeast Asian countries – Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand – may be at the start or in the midst of Omicron-fueled spikes in new case detections. Indonesia is the most concerning because of rising hospital bed utilization, but it is looking at convincing non-serious cases to stay at home instead of seeking hospital confinement.
  • In Russia, the rolling seven-day average of new infections has tripled during the past two weeks, reaching all-time highs of nearly 164,000. Hospitalization and death rates are also increasing albeit at much a slower rate.

Vaccine Diplomacy

  • During January’s World Economic Forum, the WHO reiterated its call for universal vaccination as the “central strategic pillar” against Covid-19, warning that “huge swathes of the world” are being left behind. While more than half of the world’s population has received two Covid-19 vaccine doses, only 7% have been fully vaccinated in Africa. Vaccine alliance COVAX said that more than 1bn shots had been delivered by January; it hopes to deliver the next billion doses faster, within 4-5 months.
  • Government officials in Nigeria confirmed on 7 February that the country has received an additional 2mn doses of J&J's Covid-19 vaccine from Finland, Greece and Slovenia, with more EU donations set to arrive in the coming weeks.
  • In late January, Kenya received 1.37mn Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses donated by the US and delivered via COVAX.
  • Taiwan donated 150,000 doses of Medigen, its domestically developed Covid-19 vaccine, to Somaliland in late January, marking Taiwan's first entry into vaccine diplomacy, as the island's domestic vaccine supply is now ample.
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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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