October 4, 2020, Brazil. In this photo illustration the medical syringe is seen with AstraZeneca company logo displayed on a screen in the background.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update – Brazil and India Look to Ramp up Vaccinations


According to the Bloomberg Vaccination Tracker, more than 42,2m vaccines have been administered as at 17th January.

This figure is likely to be higher, with numbers from China, a number of EU member states, and other parts of the world yet to be updated.

By doses administered, the U.S leads the way, having administered 14.31m doses, as at 17th January.

As at 13th January, China had administered 10 million doses as the government looks to prevent another wave of the pandemic.

While the EU sits behind China, with 5.27m doses administered, the UK ranks 4th, with 4.31m doses administered.

Vaccination Rates

When looking at vaccination rates, however, it is a different story.

China had a vaccination rate of just 0.71 per 100 people, with the EU having a vaccination rate of 1.19 per 100.

It was slightly better for the U.S after the weekend, with the vaccination rate rising to 4.36 per 100.

This number remains particularly low, however, when considering the continued rise in new cases and related deaths. For incoming president Joe Biden, the bigger concern, however, will be the fact that only 46% of doses distributed have been administered.

Biden has pledged the vaccination of 100 million in 100 days. A greater vaccination drive is going to be need to, not only meet the pledge, but to bring the pandemic under control.

New strains of the virus have contributed to the pickup in infection rates.

The good news is, however, that the vaccination rate is well above 2.44 doses per 100 as at 12th January.

Global Numbers

Leading the charge geographically, by vaccination rate, continues to be Israel.

As at 17th January, Israel had reported a vaccination rate of 25.91 per 100 people.

The U.A.E was narrowing the gap, with the vaccination rate climbing from 15.50 to 17.52 per 100 as at 17th January.

From the UK, the government’s vaccination drive was reflected in the latest figures. As at 17th January, the vaccination rate stood at 6.45 doses per 100 people. This was up from 5.51 doses per 100 as at 15th January.

By contrast, the EU continued to fall well behind the U.S and the UK.

As at 17th January, the EU had a vaccination rate of 1.19 per 100.

Amongst the 4 worst affected member states, Italy continued to lead the way with a vaccination rate of 1.90 doses per 100 as at 17th January. This was up from 1.66 as at 15th January.

17th January figures for Spain, Germany, and France were not yet available.

France continued to disappoint, however, with a vaccination rate of just 0.65 per 100 as at 16th January.

The latest figures from Germany and Spain were somewhat better.

As at 16th January, Germany had a vaccination rate of 1.26 per 100, with Spain a vaccination rate of 1.65 as at 15th January.

When considering the ongoing lockdown measures and continued rise in new cases, however, more is going to be needed.

For a full breakdown of vaccination rates by country, please visit Bloomberg Vaccination Tracker page here.

The Latest COVID-19 Numbers

At the time of writing, there were a total of 95,480,678 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2,039,607 related deaths.

By geography, the U.S had reported 24,482,050 cases and 407,202 COVID-19 related deaths.

India reporting 10,572,672 cases, with Brazil reporting 8,488,099 cases.

Sitting behind Russia (3,568,209) remained the UK (3,395,959).

France (2,910,989), Italy (2,381,277), Spain (2,252,164), and Germany (2,050,099) reported a combined 9,594,529 cases.

Looking Ahead

This morning, we saw 4th quarter GDP numbers from China fail to support demand for riskier assets. In spite of upbeat numbers, a recent pickup in new COVID-19 cases in China muted the effect of the numbers.

This was in spite of the ongoing vaccination drive across the country.

With vaccination rates at the lower end for China and other major economies, the continued rise in new COVID-19 cases is likely to slow any economic recovery.

Fiscal and monetary policy support may be in place but without an easing of lockdown measures, consumption will likely continue to wane.

Last week, December retail sales figures from the U.S fell further. This was in spite of the government holding off reintroducing a nationwide lockdown.

As governments look to ramp up vaccination rates, vaccine supply will soon become a focal point.

For the EU, in particular, approval of the AstraZeneca vaccine is likely to be key. At the time of writing, however, the EMA is not due to review the vaccine until 29th January.

This means that the EU would likely continue to see a reduced supply of COVID-19 vaccines until mid to late February.

Extended lockdown measures across France, Germany, and Italy in particular would also question the ECB’s growth forecast for 2021…

India and Brazil

For Brazil, which has seen a spike in new COVID-19 cases as a result of new strains, Anvisa approved both the AstraZeneca and Sinovac vaccines.

Two medical centers in the country are reportedly set to manufacture the vaccines to meet national demand.

India, which ranks ahead of Brazil in terms of total COVID-19 cases, is also on a vaccination drive. The government reportedly delivered millions of doses of approved vaccines across the country in just a matter of days.

Alongside Brazil, India is using the AstraZeneca vaccine. In addition, India is also administering its very own Covaxin vaccine.

As at 17th January, India had a vaccination rate of just 0.02 per 100. At the time of writing, there were no figures available from Brazil.