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Costa Rica to purchase coronavirus vaccines for 648,000 more people

January 11, 2021

Costa Rica plans to purchase coronavirus vaccines to protect 648,000 more people in 2021, per the Finance Ministry’s budget that was presented Monday to the Legislative Assembly.

If that item in the budget is approved, Costa Rica could vaccinate about 3.7 million adults by the end of this year. The country has a population of 5 million.

The additional vaccines would “contribute to the objective of achieving herd immunity,” the Costa Rican Presidency says.

“The vaccination campaign against Covid-19 is one of the most important weapons to fight the health emergency and for the economy’s recovery,” said President Carlos Alvarado.

Costa Rica offers vaccines for free to citizens and residents through the public-health system. The purchase price for Costa Rica depends on the vaccine’s source:

  • Doses purchased through the COVAX mechanism cost an average cost of $10.55 per dose. The vaccines for 648,000 additional people were calculated at this price.
  • Doses purchased from AstraZeneca cost of $4 plus transportation, amounting to a maximum of $5 per dose. This formula was approved by the UK, but it’s not yet authorized in the United States or Costa Rica.
  • The 3 million doses purchased from Pfizer cost $36,000,000, including transportation. This calculates to $12 per dose.

The coronavirus vaccine will not be obligatory, Costa Rican authorities have said. Citizens and residents who fall into one of the priority populations should ensure their contact information is current at their local public-health clinic (EBAIS).

Authorities have not announced if or when a coronavirus vaccine would be available for purchase at private health centers and/or pharmacies.

Costa Rica and Pfizer-BioNTech have an agreement for 3 million doses of the vaccine, enough for 1.5 million people. This vaccine began arriving in Costa Rica in late 2020 and is the only formula currently being used locally.

The latest Covid data

See the below graph for the latest Costa Rica coronavirus updates:

If you believe you have COVID-19, contact Costa Rica’s hotline at 1322. English-speaking staff and mental health professionals are available. Visit the Costa Rican Presidency for the official list of coronavirus measures and alerts. 

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