QCOSTARICA – Costa Rica began the process to acquire equipment that it will need for the future application and storage of the vaccine against the new coronavirus pandemic.
Among the equipment are 14 “ultra low temperature” freezers and the construction of a cold room.
“There will be 13 ultra-low temperature freezers of 550 liters capacity and another freezer with a capacity of 750 liters that has the objective of storing the vaccine with special temperature characteristics for a longer period of time,” explained the National Emergency Commission ( CNE).
For example, the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech requires it to be stored at a temperature close to -70ºC (-94ºF).
Costa Rica has an agreement with Pfizer and BioNTech to acquire 3 million doses, that would vaccinate 1.5 million people.
The Executive Director of the CNE, Yamilette Mata Dobles, pointed out that five companies have responded to the public tender.
And of course, as expected, in typical Tico fashion, several appeals were submitted to the award act the could delay the purchase.
The Commission expects that the tender process will be finalized by the end of this week or the beginning of next week in order to have the equipment in the first quarter of next year.
Costa Rica’s contract with the Pfizer company is to start supplying the vaccine in the first half of 2021. The same is the agreement reached with AstraZeneca to acquire one million doses. Another 1 million will come from the COVAX facility. In total, the country will be able to vaccinate 3 million people.
“All these procedures are carried out under the protection of exceptional contracting based on the framework of the national emergency declaration under Executive Decree No. 42227-MP-S due to the emergency of the pandemic, all this allows the contracting time to be reduced,” Mata said.
Other supplies being tendered by the CNE include items such as cotton swabs, needles, syringes, red and black bags, masks, as well as the design and construction of a cold room in the Storage and Distribution (ALDI) of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS).