Tuesday 31 January 2023

Ministry of Health of Panama misinforms about vaccines purchased by Costa Rica

Panama's government says that "Costa Rica acquired 10,000," while they will have "450,000 in the first phase."

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QCOSTARICA – It’s unclear why the Ministry of Health of Panama (Minsa) issued a tweet in which it misinforms about the purchase of vaccines made by the Costa Rican government, and even declares that the number of doses they will receive will be much higher.

Covid daily death toll in Panama hits new high on Christmas Eve

The message, which has caused controversy in that social network, says: “Costa Rica acquired 10,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, while Panama will be receiving 450,000 for the 1st Phase.”

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The data that Panama gives is false, because Costa Rica bought three million doses of the Pfizer/Biontech vaccine that will be for 1.5 million people.

The 10,000 doses referred to in the tweet are only the first shipment (actually 9,750) shipped by Pfizer/BioNTech, which arrived at the Juan Santamaría airport Wednesday night, December 23, on a DHL cargo flight.

Next week, Costa Rica expects the arrival of another 11,700 doses and, according to President Carlos Alvarado, “we expect new shipments weekly” until the purchase is completed.

Vaccination began this December 24 in nursing homes.

For its part, the Minsa reports to its 177,000 followers that “the first shipment of vaccines to Panama could arrive between the middle of January and middle of February 2021.”

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Former Costa Rican Health Minister, María Luisa Ávila Agüero, reproached the Panamanian comment on her Twitter account, warning that “this is not a competition, we are brothers, it is wanting to do the best for everyone. Let’s stop politicizing public health”.

Also on Twitter, some Panamanians have reacted to the tweet by Minsa.

One of them, Andrés Martínez C., said: “As a Panamanian, I am ashamed that our Ministry of Health makes such an ugly comparison. What is the purpose of comparing? If they are so good, why don’t they do it with countries that are already vaccinating and we are not. Months ago they knew about the need for refrigeration and now they realize it”.

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As of December 23, Panama has accumulated 223,674 infections of covid-19 and 3,715 deaths.

In the absence of medical personnel, Panama had to hire 220 doctors from Cuba to reinforce emergency care. The specialists arrived on Thursday, December 24, at the Tocumen airport on a Cubana de Aviación flight.


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