Costa Rica on Thursday received 88,800 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19 in the second shipment from the Covax facility.
In total, Costa Rica has now received 132,000 doses of the AstraZeneca formula through the World Health Organization-backed initiative and 1.5 million purchased directly from Pfizer.
“88,800 more vaccines arrive from AstraZeneca through the multilateral COVAX mechanism have arrived,” President Carlos Alvarado said Thursday.
“This is the week in which we have received the most vaccines: more than 200,000 doses. This is the basis for accelerating vaccination, a Costa Rican effort through different strategic alliances.”
Costa Rica has contracted 2 million doses from COVAX, a global initiative aimed at equitable access to vaccines. The first shipment, also of AstraZeneca, arrived April 7.
The Social Security System has administered 1.1 million vaccine doses, comprising both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca formulas.
Costa Rica approved the AstraZeneca vaccine based on its authorization by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The formula remains authorized for use in the European Union.
The vaccine comprises an adenovirus that has been modified to contain the gene for making a protein from SARS-CoV-2. It does not contain the coronavirus and cannot cause Covid-19.
The AstraZeneca vaccine has a “possible link to very rare cases of unusual blood clots,” the EMA says, but its benefits in preventing Covid-19 “are greater than its risks.”