The Chamber said they are looking for other options to get more vaccines and speed the vaccination campaign in the country.
- AmCham photo -
AmCham requests U.S. donation of vaccines against covid-19
Published Tuesday, April 27, 2021
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
The Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) requested the United States Government to consider Costa Rica for vaccine donations. The U.S. is currently donating to other nations such as Canada and Mexico.
Costa Rica has imported 1,098,555 covid-19 vaccines. The doses are slightly more than a quarter of the four million doses purchased from Pfizer/BioNTech, to treat two million people, according to an announcement from the National Emergencies Commission.
On Tuesday, April 7, another 43,200 AstraZeneca inoculations arrived. These are among the one million doses purchased by the government since last year, through the COVAX system of the World Health Organization. The next AstraZeneca vaccine shipment is expected to arrive between May 10 and 14.
According to Am Cham, the advantages of rapid vaccination in Costa Rica are: quickly achieving herd immunity, turning Costa Rica into a tourist destination safe for travelers, and normalizing the operations of companies in the country to promote economic growth and general well-being of the citizens.
“Based on the excellent relationship and cooperation between the United States and Costa Rica, we request respectfully to the U.S. Government that considers Costa Rica as a strategic destination for the donation of vaccines, " said Gisela Sánchez, president of AmCham.
According to Sánchez, due to the geographic proximity and the extensive commercial relationships with the U.S., it would be extraordinary if Costa Rica were included as a priority country for available vaccine donations once the U.S. meets its goal of vaccinating much of its adult population in the coming weeks.
Despite recognizing the efforts of the Ministry of Health, Social Security and other government organizations to vaccinate the population as soon as possible, the Chamber said they are looking for other options to get more vaccines and speed the vaccination campaign in the country.
"We are looking hard for suppliers of vaccines with high efficacy over than 70% or 80%, to expedite the vaccination process and thus make herd immunity a reality in Costa Rica soon," added Sánchez.
Herd immunity, also known as “population immunity” is a form of indirect protection from infectious disease that can occur with some diseases when a sufficient percentage of a population has become immune to an infection, whether through vaccination or previous infections, thereby reducing the likelihood of infection for individuals who lack immunity, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Last week, the U.S. announced support for global vaccine distribution, according to the Share America report, the U.S. Department of State’s platform for communicating American foreign policy worldwide.
According to the report, many citizens of developing nations will receive covid-19 vaccines thanks to funds being raised by the U.S. and partner organizations.
The recently launched investment opportunity in support of Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX), Facility Advance Market Commitment (AMC) aims to raise $2 billion to procure and distribute up to 1.8 billion safe and effective vaccines to low- and middle-income countries.
On April 15, the U.S. and Vaccine Alliance Gavi launched a virtual event, “One World Protected,” that attracted more than $300 million in pledges from government and private sector partners.
The fundraiser will continue over the next two months, culminating in an international leaders’ summit hosted by Japan. Participants also pledged millions of doses of covid-19 vaccines to COVAX, according to Gavi.
Over 160 nations are participating in the COVAX initiative, which works to accelerate broad and equitable access to vaccines for countries most in need during the pandemic.
“People everywhere should have access to rigorously tested, safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines,” Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said in remarks delivered at the outset of the event. “So we call on partners to work alongside Gavi to support urgent vaccine manufacturing, supply, and delivery needs.”
The U.S. contributed $2 billion to Gavi for COVAX in March and has pledged an additional $2 billion through 2022. That’s 40 percent of all contributions to COVAX so far. The U.S. Congress recently approved more than $11 billion to help fight the global pandemic.
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