Colombia’s Finance Minister authorized the purchase of 10 million COVID-19 vaccines from US pharmaceutical company Pfizer, according to radio station Blu.
The pending purchase would allow the vaccination of one fifth of the population of the South American country.
The government would also be negotiating with British pharmaceutical company Astrazeneca, whose vaccine is still awaiting approval from the British government, according to Blu Radio.
The National Unit for Disaster and Risk Management (UNGRD) has reportedly already received $120 million to purchase the vaccine developed by Pfizer from the US and BioNTech from Germany.
This vaccine offers up to 95% protection against the illness caused by the coronavirus, according to the pharmaceutical companies.
The UNGRD reportedly received an additional $120 million to take part in the Covax-Gavi Vaccine Alliance that is developing a not-for-profit vaccine in cooperation with the World Health Organization.
The coronavirus has killed more than 1,5 million people worldwide since it appeared in China late last year.
In Colombia, more than 37,000 have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, since health authorities detected the first infection in March.
Vaccination against the most serious pandemic since the 1918 Spanish flu would allow the global economy a more speedy recovery from the recession caused by the coronavirus and efforts to contain it.
Colombia’s economy is projected to contract 9% this year with devastating consequences for society.
Mass layoffs and bankruptcies are believed to have plunged almost half of the population under the poverty line.