Colombia is buying 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer for about $130 million USD with the first vaccinations in Colombia to start in February.

According to the Ministry of Finance, Colombia has set aside 430,000 million pesos (about $130 million USD) to buy 10 million doses of the 95 percent effective vaccine.

Colombia will receive its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE in February. The 1.7 million doses are enough to vaccinate about 850,000 people as each requires two doses. First in line for inoculations will be healthcare workers and those over 80 years old, officials said in a statement.

News that the U.K Government recently authorized the Pfizer BioNtech anti-COVID-19 vaccine has resulted in nations around the world speeding up inoculation schedules and place orders with Pfizer and Colombia is one of many countries negotiating orders.

Resolution 2327 was signed by Minister Alberto Carrasquilla on November 25 and allocates financial resources to the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management and in turn to the Emergency Mitigation Fund for the acquisition of 10 million doses of vaccines against the coronavirus Sars-CoV-2 at a price of about $13 USD per dose from Pfizer.

Several Medellin Guru readers asked when Colombia will start COVID-19 vaccinations. So, we published this article.

Note the above photo is by Vincent Kalut/Photonews.

More Details on Colombia’s COVID-19 Vaccine Purchase

Within the negotiation for the purchase, reportedly Pfizer will deliver the vaccine directly in dispensing centers and in containers designed by themselves to guarantee the required refrigeration conditions (-70 degrees Celsius).

Last week the Minister of Health, Fernando Ruiz, said, that Pfizer was one of the pharmaceutical companies with which Colombia was negotiating directly to acquire vaccines against COVID-19 once it was certain about safety and efficacy.

The 10 million doses would cover five million Colombians, since it requires two doses to guarantee its effectiveness above 90 percent.

Also, Minister Ruiz, said the vaccine would be aimed at populations for whom COVID-19 represents a high level of risk, including:

  • Health workers
  • People over 60 years of age
  • Those with hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and kidney deficiencies.

The government estimates that 14 million Colombians remain most at risk of contracting the virus.

When Will Vaccination Start in Colombia?

The vaccination program would start in mid-January with the first batch and continue in 2021. The goal in 2021 is to vaccinate those in Colombia that are high risk.

The Health Minister said that those that are less likely to have mortality from COVID-19 (those under age 60 and without other illnesses) could have access to the vaccine in 2022

Coronavirus Status in Colombia

Colombia Ministerio de Salud (Ministry of Health) reported the number of coronavirus cases in Colombia on December 3 – a total of 1,343,322 cases (up +9.233 cases from December 2) with 37,305 deaths.

Also on December 3, Colombia reported 7,480 recoveries. Furthermore, on December 3 Colombia had 69,753 active coronavirus cases.

The following chart shows the current status of coronavirus cases in Colombia on December 3. Only 5 percent of total coronavirus cases were active on this date and 92 percent were recovered.

Current status of coronavirus cases in Colombia, source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, Dec. 3

Current status of coronavirus cases in Colombia, source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, Dec. 3

We have a separate article updated daily that covers the coronavirus status in Colombia.

Colombia has 24 of the best hospitals in Latin America

Colombia has 24 of the best hospitals in Latin America

Healthcare in Colombia

Colombia has 24 of the top 58 clinics and hospitals in Latin America, according to a study in late 2019 by América Economia. So, 41 percent of the best hospitals in Latin America are found in Colombia. Nine of these best hospitals in Latin America are located in Medellín and nine are in Bogotá.

In 2017, Colombia had 20 of the top 49 clinics and hospitals in Latin America. And in 2018, Colombia had 23 of the top 58 hospitals. So, the count in 2019 has increased to 24 of the top 58 clinics and hospitals in Latin America for 2019.

In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) ranks Colombia’s healthcare system as #22 out of 191 countries it ranked. And no other countries in Latin America were ranked higher than Colombia. So, according to WHO, Colombia has the best healthcare system in Latin America.

Also, Colombia’s healthcare system is ranked higher than many wealthier countries like the United States (#37), Germany (#25), Canada (#30) and Australia (#32).

In Colombia, it is possible to have access to world-class healthcare at a fraction of the cost compared to the healthcare costs in North America or Europe. Furthermore, the costs for healthcare in Colombia can be significantly lower than the costs found in the U.S.

Due to having the best healthcare system in Latin America, Colombia is probably better positioned than many other countries in Latin America to handle coronavirus.

Computer generated image of COVID-19, photo by Felipe Esquivel Reed

Computer generated image of COVID-19, photo by Felipe Esquivel Reed

Medellin Guru’s Coronavirus Series

Medellin Guru has a series of articles about the coronavirus pandemic and the impacts in Colombia: Also, these articles are being kept up-to-date, as this is a fast-moving topic:

The Bottom Line: Colombia is Buying 10 Million Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine from Pfizer 

The bottom line is that Colombia is buying 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer. So, Colombia will start vaccinations in January for those most at risk. And the number of coronavirus deaths should start to fall in Colombia next year.

This is good news for Colombia and will be the start of a “light at the end of the tunnel” for coronavirus in Colombia.

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Editors note: updated on December 23, with information that Colombia will received its first 1.7 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer in February.

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