During a visit to Colombia’s small beach town of Coveñas in the department of Sucre, President Ivan Duque announced that mass vaccination against COVID-19 caused by the Sars-Cov-2 Coronavirus in Colombia will begin the 20th of this month, after the company has confirmed acquisition of 61,500,000 vaccine doses, at a cost for over 2 billion Colombian Pesos. This, according to the government, guarantees doses for 35.25 million Colombians during this year, enough for all Colombians over 15 years old.
President Duque explained that “we began this technical, scientific, specialized exercise, months ago, so that, with a technical team of experts, the evolution of the processes could be evaluated worldwide. vaccine development scientists.”
“That allowed us, as a country, to identify which were the vaccines that we could acquire bilaterally and, obviously, supported by good evidence and seeking greater efficacy,” he said, complementing that “we also told the Colombians that we were going to address the acquisition of vaccines through two schemes: the multilateral Covax scheme, and bilateral negotiations.”
Colombia’s vaccine purchases according to the presidency include:
- Pfizer: 10,000,000 doses for 5,000,000 people.
- AstraZeneca: 10,000,000 doses for 5,000,000 people.
- Janssen: 9,000,000 doses for 9,000,000 people.
- Moderna: 10,000,000 doses for 5,000,000 people.
- Sinovac: 2,500,000 doses for 1,250,000 people.
- Covax: 20,000,000 doses for 10,000,000 people.
Some doses are single-dose and others require two injections, spaced apart. Some require deep freezing, and others require either normal freezing or can be transported at ambient temperature, making them suitable for use in Colombia’s extensive rural and remote areas.
According to Duque, Colombia has acquired the necessary freezers, syringes and diluents, as well as prepared the logistics and training to start the vaccinations on time and complete the project by the end of this year.
Duque explained that “These weeks prior to February 20 will be the weeks where we will be sending effective communication, where we will be doing pedagogy, where we will be doing campaigns, where we will have all the logistics arranged with local health networks, where we will also work with the EPS (Colombia’s basic health insurers), with the IPS (clinics), with all the actors, as foreseen in the National Vaccination Plan.”
“This gives us clarity not only to start, but to start in a sustained way. We have seen countries in the world that have made the decision, and we respect it, to start vaccination cycles without having guaranteed continuity with certain schedules. We made the decision, as provided in the National Vaccination Plan, that the important thing is to start with sustainability over time and guarantee the schedule.”