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 Chile, results from clinical trials to assess the effect of a third booster shot are expected soon; the government does not expect to administer booster shots to the entire population, though the arrival of the Delta variant could change this calculation. Cases in Chile are at their lowest since April 2020 following the successful vaccine rollout.
- In Hungary, vaccination will become mandatory for healthcare professionals starting 15 August. Employees will have a legal right to dismiss unvaccinated medical staff.
- Mexico‘s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has expressed skepticism as to whether booster jabs are necessary and has also criticized pharmaceutical companies for “making business” from the uncertainty surrounding booster vaccines.
- The Philippines will increasingly target the capital over the next two months to reach 60% – 70% of the population by the fourth quarter, in the hopes of building herd immunity in the capital. This vaccination rate will significantly outstrip the rest of the country.
- Poland is experiencing a growing number of attacks on vaccination centers and medical workers administering vaccines. In response, the government has pledged to crack down on anti-vaccine movements.
- Argentina has finally reached a vaccine supply agreement with Pfizer for 20mn doses after months of negotiations and false starts marked by political recriminations over government opacity; the doses are expected to arrive towards the end of 2021.
- Peru‘s new government has inherited a pipeline of 59.1mn vaccine doses to be delivered between now and the end of 2021, enough to cover the entire population over the age of 12.
Infections and new variants
- Health authorities in Colombia are accelerating the vaccine rollout amid concerns over the possible spread of the Delta variant; in parallel, the government has been urging people to get vaccinated after opposition presidential hopeful Gustavo Petro endorsed a false report saying that existing vaccines were not effective against the Delta variant.
- The Delta variant accounts for around 90% of new infections in the Czech Republic ; however, the overall caseload remains very low.
- The third wave has firmly arrived in Nigeria, where authorities registered more than 500 cases on 29 July, the highest number of infection cases since early March. About 90% of infections are registered in Lagos State, which also conducts by far the highest number of tests in the country.
- South Africa eased lockdown measures to “Level 3” on 25 July as case numbers began to decline, including night-time curfew, limited gatherings, limited alcohol sales.
- South Korea has hit a six-month high in cluster infections; the Delta variant accounts for 48% of new cases. Meanwhile, there have been 779 breakthrough cases among 5.54mn people who are fully vaccinated.
- Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte personally welcomed the delivery of 3mn Moderna doses on 3 August – the first time he has attended the arrival of vaccines from the US.
- On 31 July, South Africa received 2.8mn Pfizer vaccines donated by the US.
- Russia‘s vaccine diplomacy appears to be faltering as Brazil and Guatemala have canceled or amended contracts for Sputnik V deliveries during the past two weeks. Moscow also bought back most doses from Slovakia after an extremely low take up.
- China‘s foreign ministry accused Australia of “vaccine sabotage” for allegedly discouraging Papua New Guinea from relying on Sinopharm vaccines. Canberra has sent 28,000 AZ doses to the island.