By Doyinsola Oladipo
WASHINGTON, D.C., Weds. July 14, 2021 (Reuters) – The United States has yet to send any COVID-19 vaccines to the CARICOM region but it donated 500,000 doses of Pfizer Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine to Costa Rica today as part of Washington’s coronavirus diplomacy to send surplus shots overseas to help fight the global pandemic, the U.S. State Department said.
“This unique moment in history requires us to be a global leader in delivering safe and effective vaccines. This donation to Costa Rica is another meaningful step in eradicating COVID-19,” department spokesperson Ned Price said in a post on Twitter.
The Central American country of about 5 million people has vaccinated nearly 26% of its population with an average of 1,320 new infections each day, according to Reuters COVID-19 tracker https://tmsnrt.rs/36xCR0A.
Wednesday’s shipment is part of the Biden administration’s support for the World Health Organization’s COVAX global vaccine sharing program to help distribute vaccines to poorer nations.
The United States has donated more than $4 million in field hospitals, ventilators and medical supplies to Costa Rica since the onslaught of the pandemic, according to the department.
“Costa Rica has long been a reliable and important partner for the United States in Central America and the hemisphere,” Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said in a separate tweet.
(Reporting by Doyinsola Oladipo and Susan Heavey Editing by Marguerita Choy)