SEATTLE, Washington – Mongolia is a nation established between two powerful countries: China and Russia. Known for its rugged terrain and nomadic culture, Mongolia has been able to avoid any transmission of COVID-19 cases for ten months. It took a turn, however. spring 2021 with cases reaching numbers that had not yet been seen in the country. With a sudden spike in cases threatening Mongolia’s fragile economy, neighboring countries have aided public health efforts in Mongolia by responding to the Mongolian government’s call for vaccines. As a result, vaccinations in Mongolia started in earnest.
COVID-19 and its impact on Mongolia
Mongolian officials were particularly wary of their underperforming health system even before cases were discovered in Mongolia. In addition, Mongolia also has the longest land border with China. With a constant flow of people crossing the Mongolian-Chinese border every day, the Mongolian government has had to quickly prioritize protecting its people from the spread of the virus. When Mongolia was finally hit with cases of COVID-19 similar to other countries, the shock had a huge impact on the structure of Mongolian labor market and shook the economic stability of the country.
The World Bank Mongolia Economic Update The report showed that low-skilled workers living just above the national poverty line fell below the poverty line due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their careers. However, by the end of 2021, the report estimates that the economic growth that will take place thanks to the government’s stimulus measures will help impoverished people. Along with this, the introduction of vaccination in Mongolia will also contribute to economic growth.
Economic links: critical for vaccine procurement
With the country in crisis, the Mongolian foreign minister has turned to China and Russia for help. Due to China’s dependence on Mongolian coal production, Mongolia has been given priority in China’s vaccine distribution plan. A donation of 300,000 Sinopharm vaccines was sent from China to Mongolia. Subsequently, Mongolia entered into an agreement with Russia buy a million doses of Russia’s Sputnik vaccine while a few days later it was also approved for 330,000 additional doses Chinese Sinopharm vaccine. China and Russia weren’t the only countries donating vaccines to Mongolia. Thanks to a strategic partnership formed in 2015, India donated 15,000 AstraZeneca vaccines in February 2021. Thanks to additional donations from the COVAX initiative and continued national vaccine procurement, the number of vaccinations in Mongolia has increased. regularly exceeded three million. Mongolia’s ability to fight foreign policies for vaccine diplomacy has certainly been demonstrated by its support from other countries and companies.
Looking to the Future: Vaccinations in Mongolia
New Mongolian Prime Minister Oyun-Erdene Luvsannamsrai aims to vaccinate all Mongolian citizens over 18 as soon as possible, previously setting July 2021 as a possible completion date for this ambitious goal. With only a population of 3.2 million, the number of citizens over the age of 18 represents 62% of the Mongolian population. 3,788,394 individual doses were administered in Mongolia, which is estimated to provide the nation with a majority of fully immunized citizens. With a high number of vaccinated citizens, Mongolia hopes to see an improvement in its economic stability.
To prevent a significant portion of its citizenship from falling below the poverty line, Mongolia has used the benefits of alliances with its powerful neighbors, Russia and China, among others. With the acquisition of vaccines in Mongolia from other countries, the Mongolian economy may be able to recover from the devastating blow COVID-19 has caused to its workforce. Additionally, the nation as a whole may have passed its peak of cases for good, which could signal the start of a recovery in all major sectors and beyond.
– Allie Degner