Aviso LatAm: COVID-19 April 13, 2022

​​​​​What you should know

  • 67.6 percent: The share of Latin America and the Caribbean’s population that is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • BRICS: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa launched a Vaccine Research and Development Centre to promote cooperation in the development and production of COVID-19 vaccines—a move that will increase vaccine distribution and access for Brazil and the region at-large.
  • Learning crisis: A new report revealed that schools in middle-income Latin America remained closed the longest globally (75 weeks and over), setting students behind by 12 months.
  • Costa Rica: Economist Rodrigo Chaves will take office as President on May 4, amid growing social discontent and concerns over national debt.

Monitoring COVID-19 economic recovery in the region

  • Chile: While GDP expanded 6.8 percent year-to-year (y/y) in February, non-mining activity dropped 0.8 percent month-to-month (m/m) and services declined 1.2 percent, signaling weaker activity and possible technical recession on the eve of the constitutional referendum.
  • Peru: In March, inflation rates reached a 28-year high following a 1.5 percent m/m increase. The government also announced fuel and food tax cuts as farmer and trucker demonstrations escalate across the country.  
  • Colombia: February employment data indicated that labor participation and job recovery are returning to pre-Covid levels. Two of three recovered jobs went to women.  
  • Mexico: The trade balance in February rebounded to a $1.3 billion surplus following January’s record-level, omicron-induced deficit.
  • Venezuela: Petroleum exports decreased 4 percent m/m in March after customers returned crude cargoes due to poor oil quality.

In focus: Latin America and the Caribbean’s protagonism in nearshoring efforts

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is increasingly becoming a destination for companies seeking to circumvent global supply chain disruptions. U.S. toy-producer, Mattel, is the latest company to nearshore its operations, announcing a $50 million plan to expand its manufacturing plant in Monterrey, Mexico. The new site in the State of Nuevo Leon will overtake the company’s other manufacturing hubs in China, Vietnam, and Malaysia and become the company’s largest production center. Similarly, U.S. clothing retailer GAP Inc. announced it will shift its sourcing away from Southeast Asia in favor of Mexico and Central America. Factory closures and port congestions in Vietnam had prompted a hike in transportation costs.

Health + Innovation

  • Saint Lucia: Officials rescinded pre-entry COVID-19 testing requirements for fully vaccinated visitors following a decrease in cases.
  • Colombia: The government is facing calls to issue a compulsory license, allowing public agencies and drugmakers to get license-free access to the Pfizer COVID-19 pill.
  • Uruguay: President Luis Lacalle Pou announced the end of the national health emergency first established in 2020, following pandemic easing.
  • Bolivia: Nearly 50 percent of the population has received a second COVID-19 vaccine dose while virus-related mortality rates remain at 0.6 percent.
  • Vaccines: Mexico’s representative to the World Trade Organization (WTO) said that any WTO COVID-19 immunizations agreement should go beyond intellectual property waivers.
  • CDC: Seven countries in the region were moved down from Level 4 to Level 3 travel advisory, an indication of pandemic easing.

Vaccination by the numbers

Percentage of population with booster shot: Chile (87) #1 worldwide, Uruguay (66) #6 worldwide, Cuba (56) #20 worldwide, Argentina (44) #40 worldwide, Peru (43) #43 worldwide, Brazil (39) #45 worldwide, Costa Rica (39) #47 worldwide, Panama (35) #53 worldwide, Ecuador (31) #59 worldwide, El Salvador (26) #70 worldwide, Dominican Republic (22) #72 worldwide. Source: nytimes.com

Percentage of population fully vaccinated: Chile (92) #4 worldwide, Cuba (88) #8 worldwide, Argentina (82) #18 worldwide, Uruguay (82) #19 worldwide, Peru (81) #22 worldwide, Ecuador (80) #27 worldwide, Costa Rica (79) #28 worldwide, Brazil (77) #36 worldwide, Panama (72) #49 worldwide, Colombia (70) #55 worldwide. Source: nytimes.com

Geopolitics of vaccine donations: US vs. China

  • The United States outpaces China in its donations of COVID-19 vaccines to Latin America and the Caribbean, with Colombia and Mexico topping the list. The region has received roughly 52 percent of all US COVID-19 vaccine donations. To learn more, visit our COVID-19 vaccine tracker: Latin America and the Caribbean.