Colombia buys 10.8 M doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine

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EFE/Carlos Ortega

The Colombian government signed an agreement to buy 10.8 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, the first shipment of one million doses expected to arrive in the country before the end of March, followed by 6 million doses during the second quarter and 3.8 million during the third quarter.

Health Minister Fernando Ruíz, said in a statement that these doses will be assigned to persons starting their vaccination schemes, as well as for second doses and boosters for persons age 18 and over. Colombia, since the outbreak of the pandemic on March 6, 2020, has registered 5.781,436 million cases, and deaths from the disease stand at 136,197.

The Moderna vaccine will also be given to persons age 50 and over, and vulnerable populations with immunosuppression conditions. “We thank the government of Colombia for their continued collaboration, support, and trust in our COVID-19 vaccine,” said Stéphane Bancel, Moderna’s Chief Executive Officer. “COVID-19 vaccines continue to be our best tools in helping to end the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Moderna’s director for commercial alliances in Latin America, Román Saglio, added that Colombia is the first country in the region with which the U.S biotechnology company has reached a vaccine distribution agreement. Moderna also recently announced a new supply agreement with the government of Chile for two million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 booster vaccine or an updated booster vaccine candidate, if authorized.

To date, Colombia has received 13.5 million doses from Moderna; 10 million through bilateral agreements and 3.5 million in donation from the U.S government. The country has administered more than 73.3 million doses, of which 32.2 million residents have completed their inoculation schemes, and 6.3 million have received a booster shot. According to Minister Ruíz, Colombia has one of the most diverse vaccine portfolios in the region with more than 105 million vaccines purchased since the roll-out started almost a year ago.

As Colombia secures pharmaceuticals against the COVID-19 pandemic, daily cases of the disease continue to decelerate sharply, with 9,730 infections reported by the Ministry of Health on Tuesday, and lowest per-day increase since January 3 when the fourth wave started to surge driven by the Omicron variant. From the day’s official tally, Bogotá registered 3,471 additional cases, followed by the departments of Cundinamarca (747), and Santander (717). The Ministry also confirmed 205 deaths, 189 of which occurred over previous days.