Aviso LatAm: COVID-19 September 18, 2021

​​​​​What you should know

  • 25 percent: COVAX cut its forecast for doses available in 2021 from 1.9 billion to 1.425 billion. 
  • 693,600: The number of Sinovac doses the COVAX program sent in its first shipment to Venezuela. 
  • Over 30 percent: The share of people across Latin America and the Caribbean that have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • UNGA 76: As leaders from 193 member states address pressing challenges, vaccination and recovery in Latin America and the Caribbean should be among top global priorities. Next Wednesday, September 22 at 12:00 ET, tune in to our special virtual event with Axios Latino featuring Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, Costa Rican Vice President Epsy Campbell-Barr, Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares, Argentine Health Minister Carla Vizzotti and more.

Vaccination by the numbers

  • Vaccinations per capita (vaccines administered per 100 people): Uruguay (172) #2 worldwide, Chile (159) #6 worldwide, Cuba (145) #14 worldwide, Ecuador (117) #38 worldwide, Panama (117) #39 worldwide, El Salvador (108) #48 worldwide, Dominican Republic (107) #49 worldwide, Argentina (105) #50 worldwide, Brazil (100) #52 worldwide, Costa Rica (91) #62 worldwide, Barbados (76) #72 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

  • Regional donations: Over the past two weeks, countries across Latin America and the Caribbean have shared vaccines with those in need. The Dominican Republic sharedover 400,000 doses between Honduras and Guatemala, while Mexico shared 300,000 doses among Honduras and Bolivia.
  • Sinovac: Chile authorized the use of the Chinese vaccine for children six years old and older, the first Latin American country to do so. Cuba announced on September 13 that it has begun administering its own COVID-19 vaccines to children as young as two years old. 
  • Sputnik V: Peru will establish a plant to produce the vaccine, following an agreement with the Russian government.
  • 12 million: The amount of China’s Sinovac doses Brazil’s health regulator suspendedafter learning that vials were filled at an unauthorized production base.
  • PAHO: New guidelines urge countries to prioritize pregnant and lactating women for vaccinations due to the increased risk of developing serious COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Vitalpass: The COVID-19 digital vaccination passport chosen by the Colombian government as its official immunization certificate. Colombia is the first country in Latin America to adopt this technology.
  • 90 percent: The share of unvaccinated people admitted for care in Honduras’ public hospital network. The remaining 10 percent have at least one dose. Of the country’s 87 ICUs, 84 are occupied.
  • Uruguay: The latest country to approve a third dose of Pfizer vaccine for people over 60 years of age.

Economies in focus

  • Exports of green coffee from Brazil fell 27 percent in August from a year earlier as supply chain breakdowns and shortages have swept the world in the wake of COVID-19.
  • With vaccine rollouts fueling consumption, retail sales in Brazil rose for the fourth consecutive month, reaching the highest level in 21 years.
  • A new wave of coronavirus infections across Caribbean countries is curbing signs of recovery as lockdowns and flight cancellations rise.
  • Mexico’s Social Security Institute (IMSS) reported that the economy had recovered 128,900 formal jobs in August, the highest monthly increase of the year.
  • Cuba announced a gradual reopening of borders in November amid rising cases and deaths. Officials are looking to kickstart the faltering tourism industry, which accounted for more than 10 percent of GDP in 2019.

Social transformations: Investing in tech

  • Softbank is committing $3 billion to kickstart a second fund focused on investing in start-ups in Latin America. This second fund will focus on companies utilizing emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and blockchain.
  • The new fund builds upon Softbank’s $5 billion Latin America Fund first announced in 2019 that invested in fifteen unicorns, included QuintoAndar, Rappi, Mercado Bitcoin, Gympasss, and MadeiraMadeira.
  • Venture capitalists invested $9.3 billion into Latin America in the first six months of 2021, compared with $5.3 billion for all of 2020.