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Costa Rica urges ‘democratization’ of global vaccine process

Costa Rica on Saturday called to intensify Covid-19 vaccine production and to democratize their distribution to meet the needs of the poorest countries, which face difficulties in accessing them.

“It is a fact that an escalation of production capacity is required, as well as the democratization of the distribution of vaccines,” said the Costa Rican Foreign Minister, Rodolfo Solano, in a session of ministers of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the UN.

The minister stressed that “it is precisely the populations of the poorest countries that suffer from the absence or extreme limitation of vaccination programs that could save their lives.”

He warned that a large part of these populations will remain without access to vaccination programs until the end of 2021.

The call is made at a time when rich countries, such as the United States, have large quantities of coronavirus vaccines while many poor countries have not had access to them.

Last December, Costa Rica became one of the first Latin American countries to start vaccinating against Covid-19, but progress has been slow — in part because the country depends on the vaccines sent by international laboratories.

Solano pointed out that expanding capacities to produce vaccines and distribute them equitably implies a strong mobilization of financial resources that exceeds the possibilities of countries whose finances have been hit by the pandemic.

For this reason, he said, “it is essential that all the key actors in the international arena, including the private sector, unite. We have all been affected by the current health crisis and it is urgent for all of us to find joint solutions.”

Costa Rica proposed at the beginning of the pandemic the creation of a platform of health technologies to share information about the prevention and treatment of Covid-19.

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