Colombia Now Receiving 1.65 Million Doses of Covid-19 Vaccines; Shots Start This Week
Colombia President Ivan Duque announced this morning (February 15) that the nation will receive the first 50,000 doses of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines today, followed by 1.6 million more doses from various providers over the next three weeks.
As a result, the first vaccinations will start here right away — a few days in advance of an initially projected February 20 start-up date.
Front-line doctors and hospital workers are first in line for vaccinations through the “MiVacuna” national program (see: https://mivacuna.sispro.gov.co/MiVacuna), along with people 80 years and older. Next in line are those between 60 to 79 years of age.
“We have acquired through direct purchases from pharmaceutical producers as well as through the multilateral Covax program 61.5 million doses, with which we will vaccinate 35 million Colombians in 2021,” added Colombia Health Minister Fernando Ruiz.
According to Colombia’s Office of Information Technologies and Communications (OTIC) director Weimar Pazos Enciso, the “MiVacuna” national computerized database taps patient-data input from EPS health-insurance networks as well as “different sources such as the National Registry [citizen and resident cedulas], the Ministry of Education, and Migration Colombia, among others.
“From the consolidation and purification of data, today we have the information on more than 35 million [vaccination candidate] prioritized Colombians. This has been available since February 5, so that people can consult the vaccination [priority] stage according to the different criteria established in the ‘plan nacional de vacunacion’ [PNV],” he added.
The “MiVacuna” web page “has a very robust infrastructure supported by 22 servers that support the database and the concurrence of each of the different phases of PNV,” he said.
Meanwhile, Health Ministry Chief of Staff Germán Escobar added that Colombia expects to receive this month 100,000 doses from Pfizer via direct purchases; another 117,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine via the Covax program; 192,000 doses from Sinovac; and 750,000 doses from AstraZeneca via Covax.
In March, Colombia is scheduled to receive 500,000 more doses from Pfizer via direct purchase; another 2.3 million doses from Sinovac; then another 1.75 million doses from AstraZeneca via Covax.
“Based on these estimates, [vaccine distribution] planning processes have been developed with the different departments and districts to consolidate their respective requirements for the National Vaccination Plan,” according to Escobar.
Medellin Receives 1st Ultra-Cold Freezer
On a related front, Medellin’s Health Secretary Andree Uribe Montoya on February 13 confirmed the receipt here of the very first ultra-cold freezer for proper storage of the Pzifer-BioNTech vaccines.
This first of several freezers being delivered here can hold 40,000 Pfizer vaccines at a temperature of -80ºC, in addition to other freezers already existing at various locations here, she added.
As for the broader Antioquia departmental preparations, Antioquia’s Covid-19 program director Leopoldo Giraldo added that mayors, health agencies, health insurance network directors, hospitals, clinics and essential health workers throughout the department and the Medellin metro area have already undergone intense training and consultations on Covid-19 vaccination management and coordination.
Meanwhile, Julián Fernández-Niño, Colombia’s Director of Epidemiology and Demography for the Health Ministry announced that Colombia has already confirmed via the “MiVacuna” program vaccination appointments for 263,000 front-line medical personnel along with 19,000 medical support workers for Stage 1 of the program.
In addition, another 200,000 medical workers are now in the MiVacuna queue for Stage 2 vaccinations, he added.