Wednesday 12 May 2021

Private sale of the Covid-19 vaccine in Costa Rica seen difficult in the short term

The vaccines in the country are products with emergency approval, registration is a much more complicated process; Pfizer denies deals with private bidders

QCOSTARICA – Private clinics and pharmacies are in the possibility of starting the processes to sell vaccines against covid-19 in Costa Rica, however, the possibility of bringing and registering the drugs in the country is complicated.

Roberto Arroba Tijerino, National Coordinator of Immunizations of the Ministry of Health and technical secretary of the National Commission of Vaccination and Epidemiology (CNVE), confirmed that there are private health service providers who have shown an interest, but so far none has made it happen.

The process to be followed is more rigorous than with other products and the Health registration will include several evaluations.

- Advertisement -

This is because the vaccines currently being applied are authorized for emergency use and not approved private commercialization.

“An emergency use permit means that they cannot be sold privately. (…) one thing is an authorization for emergency use and another is a health record,” stressed Arroba.

In an interview with La Nación on Wednesday, Arroba stated that it would be very difficult for vaccines to be sold in private establishments in the short term.

“The same pharmaceutical companies have told us that they themselves are not in a position to market vaccines privately,” Arroba stressed.

- Advertisement -

Also of interest: Pharmacies could sell any Covid-19 vaccine authorized by regulatory agencies

This Thursday morning it was revealed were alleged negotiations between the Clinica Biblica Hospital and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine line), Pfizer and Moderna, for the purchase of vaccine doses.

La Nacion report said that the Clinica Bibilica did not respond to their inquiries. For their part, Pfizer denied the possibility of selling vaccines to private suppliers in any country in the world.

“In the current context of emergency due to the pandemic, the sale of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 through private channels is not planned,” said Roberto Dormond, director of Public Affairs for Pfizer Central America and the Caribbean,

“To ensure equity in access to their vaccine during this stage of the global emergency, companies are prioritizing their available doses for supply agreements signed with national governments and supranational organizations such as the COVAX mechanism; providing doses in accordance with designated distribution channels and vaccination sites, subject to corresponding authorization or regulatory approval,” he added.

Logistics and cold chain

In addition to guaranteeing the product, private companies must also take into consideration various aspects related to application logistics, before vaccinating.

- Advertisement -

For example, not all might have the -70° C or -20° C (-94° F or -4° F)  and storage conditions required by Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, respectively.

This requires special ultra-low temperature freezers.

In the case of the Pfizer vaccine, which comes in vials with six doses which must be prepared with a dissolved serum, it should also be taken into account that once the doses are prepared they must be applied in a period of no more than six hours.

But it would be easier to save doses of AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson, whose storage temperature is the same as that of the rest of the vaccines available in Costa Rica: between 2° C and 8° C.


In the case of the Pfizer vaccine, Costa Rica has an agreement with this pharmaceutical for 4,000,425 doses. The original purchase was for 3 million doses. On March 15, 2021, Costa Rica signed with Pfizer for the purchase of 1 million additional vaccines.

With the latest shipment received on Tuesday, April 20, 2021, the total doses shipped by Pfizer since the first on December 23, 2020, now stands at 1,022,685 doses.

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 (43,200 doses were received on April 7, 2021). Deliveries are expected to in May.

Read also: Costa Rica’s Minister of Health first to be vaccinated with Astra Zeneca vaccine

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.

- Advertisement -

We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Related Articles

Health expands group 3 vaccination for people from 16 to 58 years

QCOSTARICA - Adolescents of 16 and 17 years old with some...

Caja to move ‘non-covid’ patients to private hospitals

QCOSTARICA - Caja patients with diseases other than covid-19 will be...


Flexible vaccination triggers Costa Ricans travel to the United States

QCOSTARICA - The hook of six states promoting Covid-19 inoculation for tourists in the United States caught many Costa Ricans. They are Texas, Alabama, Arizona,...

66% of ICU patients are under 60 years of age

QCOSTARICA - Sunday night, 432 of the 1,188 covid patients in hospital are in Intensive Care Units (ICU), after suffering complications from covid-19. In the...

Customs to hold electronic auctions to sell unclaimed products

QCOSTARICA - The National Customs Service (Aduanas) will carry out the first electronic auctions of unclaimed merchandise through the Sistema Integrado de Compras Públicas...

Canada approves BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine for young teens

QCOVID DIGEST - Canada's health regulator has authorized the Pfizer/BionTech coronavirus vaccine for children between 12 and 15 years old. Dr. Supriya Sharma, the...

Today’s Covid News: 2,555 new cases on Wednesday; 1,123 in hospital

QCOSTARICA - Following a drop of new cases of covid-19 over the long weekend, the ugly head of the virus resurfaced on Wednesday with...

Improvements begin at Quepos airport

QCOSTARICA - With the objective of boosting connectivity, regional tourism and the economic reactivation of the area, work started this Wednesday on the improvements...

Cuba Ready to Join WHO-Led COVAX Facility, Ambassador to China Says

Q24N   - Cuba is ready to join the COVAX vaccine-sharing mechanism led by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Latin American country's ambassador to...

Nicaragua, the safest country to travel in the region despite Covid-19: Study

TODAY NICARAGUA – A study based on data from the WHO and the University of Oxford placed Nicaragua as one of the “10 safest...

Costa Rica has appllied almost one million vaccines

QCOSTARICA - At the beginning of this month of May, Costa Rica has applied almost a million vaccines, as announced by President Carlos Alvarado...


Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.