Saturday 4 December 2021

Legislators approve budget to ensure vaccines against covid-19

By unanimous vote of 45 legislators present, Congress authorized ¢40.5 billion colones; 640,000 more doses are planned to be purchased to protect those over 18 who are not in the priority groups

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QCOSTARICA – The Legislative Assembly approved Tuesday afternoon the first extraordinary budget for the fiscal year of 2021, which ensures ¢40.5 billion colones for the purchase of vaccines against covid-19.

The second dose against covid-19 began to be placed on January 14. More than a hundred people already have had their second dose. Photo: Presidency.

The endorsement, in the first debate, was unanimous with the vote of the 45 legislators present in session.

Five days ago, the Tax Affairs Commission ruled affirmatively and unanimously on that budget.

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On January 11, the Presidency justified the figure in the need to vaccinate 3,064,838 people and to obtain additional doses to protect another 640,800 more.

Costa Rica acquired the doses from three international suppliers: the Covax mechanism promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO), and the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer-BioNTech, and AstraZeneca.

In a hearing before the Tax Commission on January 13, Health authorities confirmed the total estimated cost of US$77.4 million, to obtain 7.4 million doses.

This amount is distributed as follows, according to investments calculated as of January 12: US$36 million to purchase more than three million doses from Pfizer; US$21.4 million for more than two million doses through the Covax mechanism; US$13.5 million to buy up to 640,800 doses for those over 18 years of age without risk factors; and US$5.4 million for more than one million doses to be purchased from AstraZeneca.

US$949,444 dollars is also contemplated for the acquisition of necessary supplies in the campaign, such as syringes and cotton swabs. In total, coverage of 72% of the national population is expected by the end of the year.

The Ministry of Health reported a week ago it resorted to an ‘investment at risk’ to ensure the provision of vaccines and to be among the first nations in the world to protect its population against this disease.

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With the arrival of the fifth batch of 16.575 doses Tuesday night, January 19,  Costa Rica has received 104,000 doses in total since the first batch of 9,750 doses landed on December 23, 2020.

The shipments were on December 30, January 5 and January 12.

According to the most recent vaccination report provided by the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) almost 30,000 people have been inoculated against covid-19 in the country.

About a hundred already received their second dose.

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On Tuesday, the oldest person in country, “Chepito”, at 120 received his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. See “Chepito”, at 120, Costa Rica’s oldest gets vaccinated

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