QCOSTARICA – The government of Carlos Alvarado announced this Monday morning that Costa Rica signed an addendum to ensure the supply of one million additional doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, with the aim of accelerating the pace of the immunization process to priority groups. T
The original contract with Pfizer / BioNTech was for 3,000,075 doses.
With the amendment, the amount rises to 4,000,425 doses in total, allowing a little more than 2 million people to be vaccinated, since 2 doses per person are required, with an interval of 21 days between the two.
“More people may be vaccinated against the coronavirus this year, thanks to the fact that we have formalized the process of purchasing more vaccines. It is a very great satisfaction to be able to cover most of the population and thus prevent more people from getting sick from COVID-19,” said the President of the National Commission for Risk Prevention and Emergency Attention (CNE), Alexander Solís
For these purposes, “the National Commission for Vaccination and Epidemiology analyzed the available options, assessing the effectiveness and safety of the developments and the due approval of a strict regulatory agency, as well as the availability of the drug, reaching the decision to expand the contracting with Pfizer for both factors: scientific support for the vaccine and the possibility of the company to expand deliveries to Costa Rica,” said the Deputy Minister of Health, Pedro González.
The aim is to speed up the vaccination of priority groups. The pharmaceutical company promised to increase the number of doses in each weekly delivery starting in April, to end the year with the four million contracted doses
So far (to March 9), Pfizer has delivered 472,875 doses.
Once they arrive, the vaccines will be distributed to health centers throughout the country, where the 14 ultra-low temperature freezers that are necessary to keep them in adequate conditions were installed last week, speeding up the vaccinations.
In addition to the Pfizer vaccines, Costa Rica has contracts with AstraZeneca for 1,092,000 doses, and with the multilateral COVAX mechanism for 2,037,600 doses, the latter two expected to start deliveries in May.
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Thus, the total number of COVID-19 vaccine supply agreements for the country amounts to 7,130,025 doses, enough to vaccinate 3,565,012 people over 18 years of age.