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Costa Rica negotiates Covid-19 vaccine purchase for children

Costa Rica is negotiating the purchase of Pfizer doses to vaccinate children between the ages of two and 12 against Covid-19, the only population group that has been left out of its vaccination campaign so far.

“The country is in a negotiation process to ensure access to vaccines that could be used in 2022. This is similar to the process that was done in 2020 and that allowed us to secure vaccines for this year,” explained Agustín Castro, Minister of Communication.

The Central American country is considering purchasing more vaccines based on guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO). Symptoms of Covid-19 for children under 12 years of age, without risk factors, are less severe than those of other populations, which were prioritized for immunization.

According to the government, the acquisition of 2.5 million doses is being evaluated, of which about 1.5 million would be destined for the pediatric population (two doses per person). With the rest, a single additional dose would be administered to older adults (58 years old and up) and first responders.

Costa Rican authorities said they had analyzed other options such as the Moderna vaccine; however, because of pricing and likely approval time, Pfizer appears to be a more competitive option.

According to data from the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS), in Costa Rica more than 50% of the population (2.5 million inhabitants) have already received a first Covid-19 vaccine dose, while 851,000 have their complete vaccination scheme, which corresponds to approximately 17% of the country.

Within the population aged 12 to 19 years, approximately 200,000 doses have already been administered; in that of 20 to 39 years, 920,000; between 40 and 57 years old, 855,000; and those over 58 years old, 1.5 million.

In total, Costa Rica has reported 414,745 infected since the virus arrived in the country in March 2020. Its death count as of this Thursday is 5,108.

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