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Monday, May 16, 2022

Costa Rica won’t receive large J&J vaccine donation from U.S.

More than two weeks after announcing it was negotiating with the United States government for 1.5 million Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccines, Costa Rica’s College of Doctors says it won’t receive the donation after all.

The College of Doctors informed that, due to the lengthy negotiations, many of the vaccines in question have expired or are about to expire.

“The College did everything in its power to make this donation a reality,” said Dr. Mauricio Guardia Gutiérrez, president of the College of Doctors. 

“We also recognize the effort and commitment of the authorities in the United States, who have been supporting us. However, we are aware that each day that passes was one fewer day to take advantage of the validity of these doses.” 

Guardia added that the College of Doctors would be open to future negotiations with the U.S. government for vaccine donations.
The Johnson & Johnson formula (also known as Janssen) is a single shot, meaning 1.5 million doses could have protected as many people. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted emergency-use authorization of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the United States, and Costa Rica itself approved the formula in mid-June.

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.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is also effective against the Delta coronavirus variant, the company announced this week. Some 11 million U.S. Americans who have gotten that shot, The New York Times reports.

Costa Rica has administered 2.44 million vaccine doses as of Monday, the latest available data.

In a process that is unrelated to the failed Johnson & Johnson negotiations, the United States remains committed to donating 19 million vaccines to Central and South America, including Costa Rica. Those will be delivered through the Covax facility.

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