Saturday, 24 October 2020

COVID-19 Costa Rica: country exceeds70,000 infections; ensures participation in the COVAX-facility

Costa Rica ensures participation in the COVAX vaccine program, and will have access to candidate vaccine doses as a result of advance purchase commitments.

(QCOSTARICA) Costa Rica on Friday reached 70,816 confirmed cases of COVID-19, after adding 1,357 new cases over the previous day.

595 people are hospitalized, 237 of them in intensive care, a significant drop from Thursday when there were 610 and 253 respectively, and the lowest figures since September 13, when there were 589 hospitalizations, with 237 patients in an ICU.

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27,023 people have recovered.

A total of 17 deaths from causes related to COVID-19 were reported, bringing the total number of deaths to 812.

Costa Rica ensures participation in the vaccine program

The Vice-Chancellor for Bilateral Affairs and International Cooperation, Adriana Bolaños Argueta, announced during Friday’s press conference, that the country ensured its participation in the COVAX-facility, a system to receive the vaccine against COVID-19 as soon as it is available.

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Vice-Chancellor for Bilateral Affairs and International Cooperation, Adriana Bolaños Argueta (right) and Interim Health Minister Pedro Gonzalez during Friday’s noon presser. Photo Ministerio de Salud

“Costa Rica sent a binding document, signed by the country, in which we guarantee our interest and obligations to participate. This is the main multilateral initiative that is being carried out to guarantee universal access to the vaccine,” she said.

According to Casa Presidencial, the country has until October 9 to send the advance money for the vaccines that have been ordered so far.

“The State must make the first advance payment of US$6,316,560 dollars. This payment corresponds to 30% of the ‘weighted average’ price per dose that was set by COVAX at US$10.55. This price includes factory costs, the access/speed premium, and the financing/risk mitigation and operation costs,” Bolaños detailed.

Interim Minister of Health, Pedro González, added that the agreement establishes the delivery of around one million doses.

“The COVAX mechanism covers 20% of the population to be vaccinated. The distribution will be made according to risk groups. The country is betting on more than one purchase mechanism, to reduce the risk that exists, then one part will be through this route and another through bilateral agreements with pharmaceutical companies,” he said.  See Costa Rica negotiates with 6 pharma for the COVID-19 vaccine

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“The inter-institutional team is working to advance in the necessary steps that allow the population to have a vaccine against COVID-19 in a timely manner. The signing of COVAX is the first concrete advance of this joint effort and international cooperation and effective multilateralism that will allow us access to the vaccine against COVID-19 is strengthened by applying multilateral financing, development and production mechanisms,” added Minister González.

About COVAX-Facility

COVAX-Facility is led by the GAVI-Alliance, which is a private non-profit foundation, founded by WHO, UNICEF, the Bill and Melinda GATES Foundation and the World Bank. This structure takes advantage of the competencies of its various partners, including technical knowledge from the world of research and development, as well as the know-how of the private sector, to accelerate access to vaccines, especially in countries where the needs are the most important, guaranteeing sustainable financing for these countries, thanks to negotiations with the vaccine market.

This mechanism launched last April by the WHO, the European Commission and France in the face of the pandemic, focuses on the development of vaccines against COVID-19 and has the participation of governments, global health organizations, manufacturers, scientists, the private sector, civil society, and philanthropy.

The COVAX Mechanism seeks to raise funds that will allow Gavi to subsidize the purchase of vaccine doses for 92 eligible economies through funds from Official Development Assistance from donors, as well as support from private foundations.

By joining, Costa Rica will have access to candidate vaccine doses as a result of advance purchase commitments. As the doses of the candidate and selected vaccines become available, the country will have the opportunity to purchase Approved Vaccines from the manufacturers


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