March 23, 21 - 6:54 pm - LABS

Colombia’s private sector likely to begin vaccinating by June

While mass vaccination advances in Colombia, the country’s government has agreed to review and negotiate the possibility for private companies to take part in the National Vaccination Plan.

According to information from Colombian newspaper La República, the country’s Minister of Health, Fernando Ruiz, clarified that the final decree regulating the initiative will be known within two weeks.

“The role of the private sector is to help with the vaccines that the Government has purchased, to speed up the vaccination process. Providing infrastructure, logistics, making additional vaccination channels to those that the Government already has,” Jaime Alberto Cabal, president at Fenalco, the National Trade Federation of Colombia, told LR.

During the coming weeks, the government and private sector will be discussing at what level companies will be able to support the vaccination plan, including to evaluate if the private sector will be eligible to negotiate vaccine doses directly with manufacturers.

According to Cabal, two technical working boards will be working on different fronts. The first, with government vaccines, in order to support it in terms of accelerating the immunization program; while the second board will address the direct purchase of vaccines by the private sector.

“The first board will surely work in these months of April, May and June. The purchase of vaccines from the private sector and their application by companies would surely be from June, July and August,” he added.

According to a survey held by AmCham Colombia with 300 companies in the country, 72.7% of them have resources planned for the purchase of vaccines that will be applied free of charge to their workers, and of these, 61.4% would extend the benefit, also at no cost, to the first-degree relatives of its workers.

Colombia’s Minsalud will present over the next two weeks a framework draft to set rules on the matter, allowing the private sector to negotiate with pharmaceutical firms the vaccines that are currently authorized by the country’s regulator, Invima.