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LatinNews Daily - 25 February 2021

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In brief: BCIE approves loan for vaccines in Costa Rica

* The Central American development bank (BCIE) has approved a US$80m loan to Costa Rica for the acquisition and application of vaccines against the coronavirus (Covid-19), and purchase of related equipment – becoming the first multilateral bank to approve a loan for this aim in Central America. According to a BCIE press release, this will permit the vaccination of around 3.7m people, or 72% of Costa Rica's population. Costa Rica was the first country in Central America to begin a national vaccination campaign which started on 25 December 2020. The government has signed three agreements for the supply of vaccines: with Pfizer/BioNTech for the acquisition of 3m doses; with AstraZeneca for 500,000 doses; and with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Covax Facility initiative, which allows countries to pool resources to better negotiate the acquisition of vaccines from manufacturers, for 1m doses.