Aviso LatAm: COVID-19 February 12, 2022

​​​​​What you should know

  • Vaccination: Despite regional vaccination rates reaching almost two thirds of the population, fourteen countries have yet to reach the 40 percent coverage threshold.
  • 200 million: The number of vaccines the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is on track to procure for the region, urging governments to prepare efficient and well-targeted immunization campaigns.
  • #ProactiveLAC: While digital transformation holds tremendous promise for the region, unlocking its benefits will require a coordinated public-private effort. Tune in to our virtual event on Thursday, February 17 at 9:00 a.m. ET, featuring Inter-American Development Bank President Mauricio Claver-Carone, Mastercard’s Executive Vice President of Market Development of Latin America and the Caribbean Kiki del Valle, and Oracle Latin America’s Executive Vice President Luiz Meisler.

Vaccination by the numbers

Percentage of population with booster shot: Chile (68) #1 worldwide, Uruguay (54) #15 worldwide, Cuba (50) #21 worldwide, Argentina (31) #40 worldwide, Peru (25) #50 worldwide, Brazil (25) #51 worldwide, Panama (24) #57 worldwide, Dominican Republic (19) #59 worldwide, El Salvador (19) #60 worldwide, Ecuador (17) #61 worldwide, Paraguay (13) #66 worldwide. Source: nytimes.com

Percentage of population fully vaccinated: Chile (90) #5 worldwide, Cuba (87) #7 worldwide, Argentina (78) #21 worldwide, Uruguay (78) #22 worldwide, Ecuador (77) #27 worldwide, Costa Rica (74) #37 worldwide, Brazil (72) #42 worldwide, Peru (71) #44 worldwide, El Salvador (65) #58 worldwide, Colombia (64) #61 worldwide. Source: nytimes.com

Vaccinations per capita (vaccines administered per 100 people): Cuba (305) #1 worldwide, Chile (248) #2 worldwide, Uruguay (217) #11 worldwide, Argentina (199) #29 worldwide, Brazil (176) #40 worldwide, Ecuador (175) #41 worldwide, Peru (173) #43 worldwide, Costa Rica (167) #49 worldwide, Panama (157) #60 worldwide, El Salvador (155) #61 worldwide, Colombia (146) #65 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.

Health + Innovation

  • Spikevax: Colombia agreed to procure an additional 10.8 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, with one million doses arriving in Q1 of 2022.
  • “TOGETHER Trial”: An international collaboration led by researchers in Brazil and Canada is applying innovative testing methods to determine existing medications’ effectiveness at treating COVID-19.
  • Uruguay: The Public Health Ministry is campaigning to boost COVID-19 vaccination in 150 interior localities from 11 departments.
  • María Elena Bottazzi: This Honduran microbiologist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee successfully created the Corbevax vaccine for COVID-19, a patent-free drug designed for the poorest global communities.
  • 149 percent: The increase in the number of COVID-19-related deaths between December 2021 and January 2022 in Brazil, according to the Health Ministry’s latest epidemiological report.
  • Honduras: President Xiomara Castro is the latest regional leader to contract COVID-19 amid the spread of the omicron variant.
  • Bolivia: Roughly half the population hasn’t received a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, due to generalized distrust, misinformation, and other religious motives.
  • Flora Growth: A cannabis-based drug aimed at COVID-19 prevention that seeks emergency use authorization in Colombia.

Economies in focus

Economic Impact

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) slashed its 2022 Latin America economic growth forecast, giving the region a 2.4 percent economic growth estimate — significantly lower than the 6.8 percent regional expansion in 2021. 
  • According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), between 60 and 80 percent of jobs recovered by the third quarter of 2021 were part of the informal sector.  
  • Inflation in Colombia reached a five-year high in January 2022 according to the national statistics agency—the highest level since 2016.  

Economic Recovery

  • Brazil’s central bank raised its interest rate by 150 basis points to counter rising inflation–the eighth consecutive hike since it began monetary cycle tightening.
  • The ILO estimated that Latin America’s unemployment rate will reach 9.6 percent – higher than pre-pandemic levels but lower than the 10.6 percent reported in 2020.  

Social transformations: Latin American countries embrace online learning

  • According to the Coursera 2021 Impact Report, Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia were among the top ten countries globally with the most registered students on the online learning platform.
  • With a 39 percent growth figure, Latin America surpassed both North America and Europe in new user registration for Coursera. Paraguay led this trend globally, with 98 percent new user growth.
  • UBITS, a Colombian startup that provides an online learning platform for corporate training, partnered with Mercado Libre and Coursera to provide virtual upskilling opportunities to employees in the region.