QCOSTARICA – Since the first batch of 9,750 doses of the covid-19 vaccine on December 23, 2020, Costa Rica has received three more shipments for a total of 87,750 doses against covid-19.
The most recent shipment landed Tuesday night, January 12, at Juan Santamaría airport, with a total of 33,150 doses of the vaccine developed by Pfizer/BioNTech.
As on previous occasions, the vaccines arrived by the DHL Aero Expreso, landing in Costa Rica at 9:00 pm.
While the first batch was the smallest, at 9,750 doses, the second batch, arrived on December 30, was of 11,700 doses; the third and fourth batches, each of 33,150 doses, arrived on January 5 and 12, respectively.
The Government indicates that during January we will receive weekly shipments of 33,150 doses and expected to increase in February as supply allows it.
President Carlos Alvarado stressed that each delivery is a reflection of the Government’s work to ensure the country’s fight against the new coronavirus.
“This result is not free, it is a product of the path that we have set ourselves months ago, since vaccination is the most important tool for, in addition to preserving public health, promoting the economic recovery of Costa Rica,” said the president.
In total, to date, 55 health centers throughout the country already have the vaccines and distribution will expand as more arrive.
In fact, the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) – Costa Rican Social Security Fund – reported that this Monday it distributed 17,705 doses in ten hospitals and 18 health areas located outside the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM), expanding the vaccination program across the country.
The Pfizer/ BioNTech vaccine requires to be stored at -70 ° C to preserve its properties, so it is necessary to store it in special deep freezers. The Comisión Nacional de Emergencias (CNE) – National Emergency Commission – has already acquired 14 of these, that on Friday they will begin their trip from China to Costa Rica by boat. They are expected to arrive in mid-February.
A person who is inoculated should receive a second dose at 21 days. Afterward, it may take two weeks for the immune system to raise its defenses.
In total, the country purchased three million doses from Pfizer/BioNTech for 1.5 million people, part of a planned total purchase of six million doses intended for three million inhabitants and whose inoculation will be progressive throughout 2021.
However, 640,000 more people may be immunized than planned, as the Ministry of Finance included in the first extraordinary budget for 2021 an economic forecast for ¢40.5 billion colones for the purchase of vaccines.
As reported by the Presidency, these resources are added to those approved in the third extraordinary budget of 2020, for ¢7.2 billion.
“This will allow vaccinating an additional group of people, who are currently not included in the groups to be vaccinated, but would contribute with the objective of achieving herd immunity,” the Presidency reported in a statement.
In addition to Pfizer/Biontech, Costa Rica obtained the doses from the Covax mechanism promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO), and the AstraZeneca-University of Oxford.
As reported by the Presidency, the cost of vaccines is as follows:
- For the doses acquired through the Covax mechanism, the value will depend on the supplier or suppliers chosen by the country, at an average cost of US$10.55 per dose.
- Those purchased through the AstraZeneca company have a cost of US$4 plus transportation.
- The three million doses purchased from Pfizer imply an investment of US$36 million, which represents US$12 per vaccine, that includes transportation to designated storage sites in the country and without considering any taxes.
- The projection for purchasing additional doses is calculated at the same average unit cost of $ 10.55, recommended for Covax.
As the distribution of vaccines against covid-19 advances in the country, the sum of infections in Costa Rica continues to grow, by the thousands, and alerts are activated in many cantons.
The first week of 2021 closed with 7,235 new cases of infection, an increase from the 6,510 for the last week in December and an average of 6,000 for the few weeks before that.
The ten cantons that represent almost half (48%) of the cases are: San José, Alajuela, Desamparados, San Carlos, Heredia, Alajuelita, Puntarenas, Goicochea, Limón and Cartago.
According to the latest report by the Ministry of Health, Wednesday, January 13, the country has accumulated 182,156 cases since the first in March -159, 176 Costa Ricans and 22,980 foreigners, of which 92,622 are men and 89,534 women, ranging in age from 0 to 101 years old.
The total number of deaths is now 2,384: 1,489 men and 895 women, ranging in age from 2 to 101 years old.
One of the most important indicators is that of hospitalizations, which for this Wednesday, was 578 patients, of which 250 in intensive care beds, occupied by people from 0 to 93 years old.