Colombian jabs

Public and private sectors working together to accelerate Colombia's vaccination drive.

Until recently, the vaccination process in Colombia had been lagging, much to the frustration of a private sector desperate for the country’s economy to reopen fully.

Such was the concern that the Chamber of Commerce announced a “Vaccination for Reactivation” initiative to import one million vaccines in a collaboration funded by the private sector. Unfortunately, when asked to pay, only a fraction of those businesses that had expressed an interest actually stumped up the cash, forcing the cancellation of the initiative.

A director of the Chamber of Commerce gave us his version of events, “Last week, the Chamber of Commerce suspended the private vaccination programme because more than 70% of the companies that had initially expressed an interest pulled out and only 11% paid up. In parallel, the government guaranteed a speedy vaccination programme for those aged 30 – 50, for free so the private scheme became redundant.”

“Last week, the Chamber of Commerce suspended the private vaccination program because more than 70% of the companies that had initially expressed an interest pulled out and only 11% paid up.”

A director, Chamber of Commerce, Colombia

The Chamber of Commerce has set up a system to return the funds already invested by companies that had signed up for the initiative.

By 21 July Colombia had vaccinated more than 24 million people with one dose against COVID-19, and ten million people had been fully vaccinated. Furthermore, on 23 July, the US government made a donation of 3.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine to the country.

The CEO of a large Colombian company commented, “It was a strange idea given the current economic situation. There are so many businesses that are really struggling, where are they going to find the money to fund a private vaccination process. Perhaps the initiative was cancelled because the government came to the rescue, but I’m not sure the plan would have succeeded anyway. The Chamber of Commerce finally realised that private sector cash is better invested in internal projects to boost the economy, not in duplicating the efforts of the government.”

“There are so many businesses that are really struggling, where are they going to find the money to fund a private vaccination process. […] The Chamber of Commerce finally realised that private sector cash is better invested in internal projects to boost the economy.”

CEO, Colombia

A director of the Chamber of Commerce countered, “It was a responsible decision by the Chamber of Commerce and it has been supported and well-received by employers who will now turn their attention to incentivising workers to get vaccinated.” Another Colombia executive was also supportive, “It was a good idea, it was just a bit too slow. What they were trying to do made sense but the reality is that the government’s programme has accelerated a lot.”

While this private sector vaccination programme has been cancelled, it has not been the only one in Colombia. The Asociación Nacional de Empresarios de Colombia (“ANDI”) – a trade association primarily representing utilities – has been running its own initiative. A representative from Colombia’s gas industry gave us an update, “The programme has gone quite well, around 900,000 doses have been given out and in the gas sector in particular, more than 22,000 people have been vaccinated. The reality is that the national vaccination process is going quite well. They took a long time to start but the speed at which they have been able to vaccinate recently is very good.”

Despite these efforts, Colombia, which has already registered more than 100,000 deaths, is now facing its third wave of infections, currently peaking after weeks of continued protests against the government.

Important Notice
While the information in this article has been prepared in good faith, no representation, warranty, assurance or undertaking (express or implied) is or will be made, and no responsibility or liability is or will be accepted by Deheza Limited or by its officers, employees or agents in relation to the adequacy, accuracy, completeness or reasonableness of this article, or of any other information (whether written or oral), notice or document supplied or otherwise made available in connection with this article. All and any such responsibility and liability is expressly disclaimed.
This article has been delivered to interested parties for information only. Deheza Limited gives no undertaking to provide the recipient with access to any additional information or to update this article or any additional information, or to correct any inaccuracies in it which may become apparent.

Most recent in Health

Battling the Buzz

Dengue wars in Latin America.

Galloping Ahead

Argentina’s cloning industry breaks new ground.

Revolutionising pharmaceutical services 

Challenges and opportunities in the Americas. 

LatAm’s fight for a healthier tomorrow

The region's efforts to defeat Hepatitis.

Diabetes spikes

A public health crisis is emerging as diabetes runs rampant across Latin America.

Sleep on it

A recent study claims 3 in 4 Argentinians suffer from some form of sleep disturbance.

Health collapse

Chile’s private health insurance companies face bankruptcy at the hands of government legislation.

Cholera outbreak

PAHO delivers over a million cholera vaccine doses to Haiti as outbreak gathers pace.

Birth dearth

Latin America’s fertility rate continues to fall but what does this mean for the region?

Digital remedies

Digital pharmacies growing rapidly after pandemic induced change in consumer behaviour.