(QCOSTARICA) The government of Costa Rica has already started talks with six pharmaceutical companies for the future purchase of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The acting Minister of Health, Pedro González, assured that they are analyzing various options and that they have already had contact and conversations with 6 companies: AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Sinovac, Sinofarm, Moderna and the Russian Sputnik V.
“Product delivery times are being evaluated, as well as technical elements related to the first phases in human research,” González said at a press conference on Monday.
Vaccines must go through 3 phases in human research, no pharmaceutical has completed this third.
“All the products that have been discussed to date are for adults over 18 years of age. Some of the pharmaceuticals recommend age ranges between 18 and 85 years for their application, all of that is under analysis,” said Minister Gonzalez.
In the case of children, it is a product that will come out much later.
On Monday, Minister Gonzalez said that the Government has destined ¢7.2 billion colones (US$12 million dollars) as an advance to the purchase of vaccines against COVID-19 when the vaccines are ready and for sale in the international market.
The resources are assigned to the Ministry of Health in order to be transferred to the National Emergency Commission (CNE), which has more expeditious mechanisms to carry out the purchase.
Those ¢7,200 billion comes from savings in interest that have been made in the management of the internal and external debt, thanks to more beneficial loans for Costa Rica that have been approved with the endorsement of the Legislative Assembly to exchange expensive debt for a cheaper.
Costa Rica, in addition to establishing the contract with the selected pharmaceutical companies, will join the COVAX Facility, a global initiative that brings together governments and manufacturers to ensure eventual COVID-19 vaccines reach those in greatest need, whoever they are and wherever they live.