Colombia Soaring Past 20 Million Covid-19 Vaccinations; Private Companies Joining
Colombia this week will surpass 20 million Covid-19 vaccinations — and seems likely to surpass its goal of 25 million by end-July, according to latest Health Ministry forecasts.
Meanwhile, more than 1.25 million employees of nearly 6,000 private companies nationally this week are starting to get free Covid-19 shots thanks to massive investments by member-companies of Colombia’s biggest industrial-commercial trade association, ANDI (founded in Medellin).
“This is the most robust public-private alliance that has been achieved in the history of Colombia, where the national government made available its entire mechanism for the acquisition of vaccines, and companies are investing more than COP$285 billion (US$74.6 million) to reach Colombian workers and households,” ANDI President Bruce MacMaster explained.
In Antioquia, more than 150,000 workers at more than 450 member companies of ANDI are already lined-up for free, employer-paid vaccinations, according to ANDI-Antioquia director Alejandro Olaya. Among the first getting vaccinations: workers at Medellin-based utilities giant EPM, banking giant Bancolombia and clothing manufacturer Offcors, among many others.
Antioquian companies have already invested COP$40 billion (US$10.5 million) in free Covid-19 vaccines for their employees and their families, with each shot costing about COP$220,700 (US$58), including costs of Bogota-to-Medellin air transport, vaccine refrigeration and local distribution, Olaya added.
Beyond the new, private-sector vaccinations, Antioquia alone has already exceeded 2.9 million public vaccinations as of July 5, with Medellin accounting for 1.4 million of those doses.
Colombia has now moved into phase-four of its national public-vaccination campaign, offering free shots to people between 40 and 44 years old – having already vaccinated most people 45 years and older, including crucial cohorts such as front-line health workers, public safety workers and – in the next few days – the completion of vaccinations for the entire cohort of school teachers, as Colombia reopens in-person schooling July 15.