Costa Rica’s College of Doctors says it is negotiating with the United States government for a donation of about 1.5 million Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccines.
“We have been negotiating with officials of the US government, and they have given approval for donation,” said Dr. Mauricio Guardia Gutiérrez, president of the College of Doctors.
If the donation is completed successfully, the College of Doctors says it plans to implement a mass mobile vaccination campaign with the support of private-sector companies.
“The idea is to use the facilities of shopping centers to carry out mobile vaccination programs, where people do not have to get out of the vehicle. For this, a group of shopping centers of the extended Greater Metropolitan Area have been made available,” the medical organization said.
The College of Doctors says it has asked for the support of the Costa Rican government to expedite the donation process. The gifted vaccines are “soon to expire” and must be administered “massively and quickly,” the organization says.
The shipment could arrive as early as this week.
Presently, Costa Rica has only authorized the Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines. The Johnson & Johnson formula (also known as Janssen) is a single shot, meaning 1.5 million doses could protect as many people.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted emergency-use authorization of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the United States, which Costa Rica could homologate.
While the U.S. briefly paused Johnson & Johnson injections due to blood clots with low platelets in adult women, “a review of all available data at this time shows that the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks,” the CDC says.
Costa Rica has administered 1.9 million vaccine doses as of last Monday, the latest available data.