The Ministry of Health and the National Emergency Commission (CNE) reported that Costa Rica signed with AstraZeneca to supply one million doses of its candidate vaccine against COVID-19, AZD1222, developed in conjunction with the University of Oxford. Said million doses will cover half a million people, because two applications are required for each person.
It is estimated that the vaccine will be available as of the first quarter of 2021, if the clinical trials underway are successful and subject to approval by regulatory agencies. Each dose will be priced at a cost of $ 4 (two doses per person), price that does not include distribution costs that will be additional.
Phase II / III clinical trials are underway in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Brazil, while Phase I / II clinical trials are ongoing in South Africa, Japan, Kenya, and Russia. These trials will determine vaccine protection against COVID-19 and measure immune response and safety in up to 50,000 participants globally across a wide age range and diverse groups and geographies.
This agreement joins Costa Rica’s adherence to the COVAX-Facility mechanism, which provides for a population coverage of just over one million people, as well as the agreement with Pfizer and BioNTech for the immunization of one and a half million individuals, allowing, in total, vaccinate more than three million people.
Vaccine purchases would be made through the National Emergency Fund by way of exception allowed by Emergency Law 8488.
“This important advance in the task of preparing ourselves to vaccinate the population when vaccines are available is the result of the great work that the National Vaccine Commission has been developing and reflects our primary commitment to protect the health and life of citizens against the pandemic, using all the means at our disposal, ”said the President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado.
The activity was attended by Alvarado, the Minister and Vice Minister of Health, Daniel Salas and Pedro González, respectively, as well as the legal advisor of the National Emergency Commission, Eduardo Mora, and Dr. Leandra Abarca of the Expanded Program of Immunizations of the Fund Costa Rican Social Security.