Aviso LatAm: COVID-19 October 5, 2021

​​​​​What you should know

  • Sinovac: PAHO struck a deal with the Chinese manufacturer to buy millions of COVID-19 vaccines for countries in the region as part of an effort to address vaccine inequality.
  •  Chile: Following a sharp decrease in cases, authorities announced the end of a state of emergency in force since the start of the pandemic
  •  Four: The number of members of the Brazilian presidential delegation at the UN General Assembly who have tested positive for COVID-19.
  •  Vaccination: As of September 27, nearly 600 million vaccines have been administered across the region—almost enough to cover the entire population with at least one dose.
  •  Costa Rica: Authorities announced that all state workers will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19, making it one of the first countries in the region to impose a vaccination mandate.

Vaccination by the numbers

  • Vaccinations per capita (vaccines administered per 100 people): Cuba (189) #2 worldwide, Uruguay (181) #3 worldwide, Chile (172) #4 worldwide, Panama (123) #39 worldwide, Ecuador (120) #43 worldwide, El Salvador (119) #46 worldwide, Argentina (117) #48 worldwide, Brazil (112) #55 worldwide, Dominican Republic (111) #56 worldwide, Costa Rica (111) #57 worldwide, Barbados (84) #73 worldwide, Source: nytimes.com
  • Percentage of population fully vaccinated: Chile (75) #11 worldwide, Uruguay (74) #12 worldwide, Ecuador (57) #39 worldwide, Panama (54) #47 worldwide, El Salvador (54) #48 worldwide, Argentina (51) #52 worldwide, Cuba (46) #60 worldwide, Dominican Republic (46) #61 worldwide, Costa Rica (43) #64 worldwide, Brazil (43) #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

  • Abdala: Cuba has begun sending its homegrown, three-dose vaccine to Vietnam and Venezuela. Initial shipments of the vaccines were sent to Venezuela this past weekend.
  • 7 million: The number of people over 60 years old set to receive COVID-19 vaccine booster shots in Brazil.
  • Sinergium Biotech: The Argentine pharmaceutical company is set to produce mRNA vaccines for the region under an agreement with PAHO.
  • MOU: The health ministers of Chile and Uruguay signed an agreement to cooperate on health matters, including COVID-19 and vaccine administration.
  • Sinovac: Chilean children ages 6 to 11 will receive the Chinese vaccine following approval earlier this month.
  • Third dose: El Salvador is set to begin administering booster shots to various groups including the elderly, healthcare workers, and people with underlying conditions.
  • Moderna: The US drugmaker will begin supplying 20 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to Peru, with deliveries starting in the first quarter of 2022.
  • Rio de Janeiro: The latest Brazilian city to require proof of vaccination to enter gyms, theaters, and many popular tourist destinations.
  • Guatemala: Less than a quarter of the population has been vaccinated and only 12 percent of all people are fully immunized as of September 27.
  • Mexico: Authorities reported an overall decline in daily new cases for an eighth consecutive week, following the all-time high of nearly 29,000 in mid-August 2021.
  • Argentina: Amid a fast-improving vaccination campaign, the government is reopeningborders starting October 1 for its neighbors and November 1 for all foreigners.

Economies in focus

Economic Impact

  • Brazil’s annual inflation rate broke double digits for the first time since 2016, adding uncertainty to the strong post-pandemic economic recovery. 
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit found that the Venezuelan economy has contracted by more than 77 percent since 2013 as COVID-19 exacerbated existing economic turmoil. 

Economic Recovery

  • Despite growing alarm of inflation in Brazil, the IMF concluded that the country’s economic performance has been better than expected, projecting real GDP to grow by 5.3 percent in 2021. 
  • The Biden administration is considering an international trade and public works investment program in the region, including plans on pharmaceutical research and manufacturing, which may rival China’s Belt and Road initiative.
  • The Mexican government’s 2022 draft budget proposed reducing the tax burden for Pemex and forecasted an overall growth rate of 4.1 percent amid a continued recovery from a COVID-19-induced slump. 

Multilateral analysis and support

  • Brazil’s annual inflation rate broke double digits for the first time since 2016, adding uncertainty to the strong post-pandemic economic
  • The World Trade Organization (WTO) upgraded its forecasts for trade in 2021 and 2022, up from 8.0 percent predicted in March. If the current forecast is realized, by Q4 of 2022, imports will have risen by 10.8 percent in South and Central America.
  • In a recent  report , the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) projected that the region will see economic growth of 5.9 percent in 2021.
  • At the High-Level Dialogue on Climate Action in the Americas, Secretary Kerry announced US plans to scale up financial support for the region’s renewable energy target of 70 percent by 2030. 

Social transformations: The lithium rush in South America

  • Electric cars and their lithium batteries play an essential role in reaching net-zero global emissions, and approximately 58 percent of the world’s lithium supply is found in South America. 
  • Argentina, for example, sees growing investor interest in mining as an opportunity to help rebuild its pandemic-battered foreign reserves. 
  • At present, China is the world’s largest buyer of lithium and the Chinese mining company Ganfeng Lithium announced this summer that it will invest US$600 million in an Argentine exploration project.