SAN JOSE (Reuters) -The first batch of COVID-19 vaccine doses from Pfizer will reach Costa Rica on Wednesday night, with inoculations set to begin on Thursday, President Carlos Alvarado told a news conference.
The shipment contained 9,750 doses for the small Central American country, and another delivery next week is expected to bring another 10,725 doses, said Health Minister Daniel Salas.
Costa Rica, with a population of some 5 million, has registered more than 2,000 deaths due to the coronavirus and 161,942 infections.
The vaccine shots are due to be given first to workers at healthcare centers and elderly care facilities, before wider distribution.
Salas called the vaccine’s arrival “a light in this year of darkness” but warned the pandemic is not over.
“A long process is ahead,” he said.
Mexico is also set to begin its first round of vaccinations on Thursday after receiving its first shipment of Pfizer vaccines.
(Reporting by Alvaro Murillo, Writing by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Nick Macfie)