A donation of 500,000 Covid-19 vaccines from the United States arrived in Costa Rica late Tuesday night.
The shipment of Pfizer/BioNTech doses represents the single largest delivery Costa Rica has received since it began inoculations against the coronavirus. It will protect up to 250,000 people with a two-dose schedule.
The donation led Costa Rica to expand vaccine eligibility to younger adults without risk factors, the Social Security Fund (CCSS) said. This will begin Friday, when adults ages 40 and older will be eligible for a vaccine.
“I thank, first and foremost, the U.S. government for this act of solidarity,” said President Carlos Alvarado. “This lot will allow us to open vaccination to Group 5 people and bring our country closer to herd immunity.”
The donation arrived Tuesday night at Juan Santamaría International Airport. The doses were received by President Alvarado, U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Gloria Berbena, Health Minister Daniel Salas, and others.
“It is an honor to be before you tonight as we welcome this donation of 500,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine against Covid-19 from the U.S. government to the Costa Rican people,” Berbena said.
“The U.S. is helping the world come out of this pandemic, creating a safer and more protected world against infectious diseases.”
In addition to the 500,000 donated vaccines, Costa Rica has imported more than 2.8 million doses purchased from Pfizer, AstraZeneca and through the Covax mechanism.
Costa Rica has administered 2.6 million vaccine doses as of Tuesday afternoon.
Watch the vaccine delivery below: