Costa Rica signed an addendum to ensure the supply of one million additional doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, with the aim of accelerating the pace of the immunization process to priority groups. This is possible thanks to the articulation of efforts of the institutions that attend the COVID-19 pandemic and to an extraordinary budget approved by the Legislative Assembly.
The original contract with Pfizer / BioNTech was for 3,000,075 doses. With the amendment, signed by the country by the President of the National Commission for Risk Prevention and Emergency Attention (CNE), Alexander Solís, the amount rises to 4,000,425 doses in total. This allows a little more than 2 million people to be vaccinated, since 2 doses per person are required, with an interval of 21 days between the two.
“Another 500,000 people may be vaccinated against the coronavirus this year, thanks to the fact that we have formalized the process of purchasing more vaccines. It is a very great satisfaction to be able to cover most of the population and thus prevent more people from getting sick from COVID-19, ”said Solís Delgado.
For these purposes, “the National Commission for Vaccination and Epidemiology analyzed the available options, assessing the effectiveness and safety of the developments and the due approval of a strict regulatory agency, as well as the availability of the drug, reaching the decision to expand the contracting with Pfizer for both factors: scientific support for the vaccine and the possibility of the company to expand deliveries to Costa Rica, “said the Deputy Minister of Health, Pedro González.
The aim is to speed up the vaccination of priority groups. The pharmaceutical company promised to increase the number of doses in each weekly delivery starting in April, to end this year with the four million contracted doses. As is known, so far it has delivered 472,875 doses.
“We are very hopeful with this decision, since having more vaccines will accelerate the rate of immunization of priority groups, reduce the number of people requiring hospitalization and prevent the capacity of the health system from being exceeded,” said the Manager. CCSS doctor, Mario Ruiz.
Once they arrive, the vaccines will be distributed to health centers throughout the country, where the 14 ultra-low temperature freezers that are necessary to keep them in adequate conditions were installed since the previous week, speeding up the vaccination days that performs the CCSS.
The agreement with Pfizer / BioNTech is added to the contracts that the country has with Astra Zeneca, for 1,092,000 doses, and with the multilateral COVAX mechanism for 2,037,600 doses; which are expected to start deliveries in May. Thus, the total number of COVID-19 vaccine supply agreements reached by the country amounts to 7,130,025 doses, enough to vaccinate 3,565,012 people over 18 years of age.