Government of Costa Rica prepares to buy vaccines early.

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Currently there are more than two hundred developments of the vaccine against COVID-19, in different stages of research. Few are in Phase II or Phase III clinical trials and there is no guarantee of success for any of them. High global demand, against the still uncertain supply, generates unprecedented international competition.

In this scenario, the Ministry of Health, the Costa Rican Social Security Fund, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship, the Ministry of Planning and the Ministry of Finance are coordinating efforts to, according to the competencies of each, analyze technical, legal and budgetary the way in which Costa Rica will acquire the vaccine against COVID-19.

Legally, it must be defined how to adapt an unprecedented situation, of a still non-existent vaccine, to the requirements of the national legislation regarding the acquisition of vaccines. Technically, the research developments on which the country has already approached, and which could have the possibility of success due to the research phase in which they are, are analyzed, namely Pfizer, Astra Zeneca and Sinovac. New contacts are sought with other governments and developer companies to be able to analyze different options for ongoing research and participate in international efforts, at a global and regional level, with the aim that Costa Rica be part of these initiatives once they materialize. .

The budgetary aspect has a very significant relevance. The cost of the vaccine is still uncertain and will vary depending on the developer. All initiatives require advance payments, be they global, regional or direct purchases that the country can make. They are risky investments because no potential vaccine has a guarantee of success. The purchase mechanisms, budgets that are required and the exceptional nature of the situation are several of the topics under study.

The government is working in a coordinated manner, from the competence of each of the related institutions, to have access to a vaccine in the most expeditious and transparent manner, taking into account all related legal, technical and budgetary aspects.

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