Colombia will allow imports of Covid-19 vaccines by companies, but doses need to be free By Reuters

© Reuters. Vaccination in Bogotá

BOGOTÁ (Reuters) – Colombia will allow imports of vaccines against Covid-19 by companies, the country’s Ministry of Health said on Monday, but doses will need to be free for those immunized.

The Andean country plans to immunize about 70% of its population of 35 million people this year, according to a free national program, and has already applied 2.4 million doses since February.

Those who distribute doses of vaccines purchased privately must comply with the standards set by the government and will not be able to use facilities required by the national program, the Minister of Health said in a preliminary decree made available to journalists.

“The immunization process conducted with vaccines acquired by legal entities needs to happen at zero cost for the beneficiaries of the application”, says the resolution.

Countries including Pakistan and India are allowing private purchases of vaccines from Covid-19.

The government has already issued warnings about an increase in the number of cases after the Easter holiday and has put restrictions in place based on occupancy rates in intensive care units in hospitals. So far, 64,000 Colombians have died from the coronavirus.

(Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb)

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