COVID-19 Vaccines in Panama

COVID-19 vaccines in Panama have been being rolled out since January 20, 2021. According to the Ministry of Economics and Finance, Panama has committed $56 million dollars to the  program. They will be using the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca/Oxford and Johnson & Johnson, a partnership out of the COVAX Facility.

The Panamanian government seeks to be able to vaccinate 2,906,950 people. In order to accomplish this feat, the plan is to acquire 5,513,900 doses, which most patients will require two doses. The 2.9 million people vaccinated will represent roughly 70% of the population, which is the target for reaching a level of herd immunity.

COVID-19 Vaccines in Panama

COVID-19 Vaccines in Panama as of March 3, 2021

Panama is scheduled to receive its first 450,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine during the first trimester of 2021. On January 20, 2021, the country received its first shipment of 12,840. Then on February 17, the second shipment of 67,860 doses arrived. The third and most recent shipment of 77,200 doses arrived Wednesday, February 24, early in the morning. As of March 3, 2021, a total of 157,900 COVID-19 vaccines have reached Panamanian soil.

Per the agreement of the Panamanian government with Pfizer, there are 292,100 more doses scheduled to be delivered during March and April. That will leave another 5 million doses to be procured as part of the national government’s plan for vaccination. The arrival of the vaccines has played out a little but different than it was first announced, however things are now on schedule. The plan is laid out in four phases. A graphic published by the government and an English translation by The Bocas Breeze can be found below.

COVID-19 Vaccines for Foreigners in Panama 

It has been stated by Health Minister Luis Sucre and Health Director of the Metropolitan Area Israel Cedeño that both foreign residents and even foreigners who happen to be here on a tourist visa can be included in the vaccination plan.

“In Panama, the Expanded Immunization Program (el Programa Ampliado de Inmunización) does not discriminate against age, sex, and much less nationality. Whoever arrives at a health center will receive care regardless of whether they are a legal resident or not”, said Cedeño in an interview with La Estrella Panama. “Panama has never discriminated in terms of vaccination;  foreigners may be doing tourism and if it’s their time, they can be vaccinated,” he also commented.

“The Ministry of Health has responsibility for the entire population that is in the country. No one is going to be left out here, we have enough doses,” said Health Minister Sucre.

Bocas del Toro COVID-19 Vaccines

Bocas del Toro is number 8 out of 12 provinces on the list of priorities for vaccinations, based on the infection and morality rates. When we have more information on the logistics of the vaccination appointments, we will publish it.

Register for your COVID-19 vaccine in Panama here. Foreigners in Panama are able to register for their COVID-19 vaccine with their passport number here, so there is no need to have your residency status to be able to participate in this program.

English translation of these graphics can be found below.

Health Minister Sucre announced that on March 4, 2021, the vaccination program would enter Phase 2, Stage 2A, where it is the turn for adults of 60 years of age and the the population 16-59 with chronic illnesses.
COVID-19 Vaccines in Panama Phases 1 and 2
COVID-19 vaccines in Panama Phases 3 and 4

Continuous vaccination strategy 

Phase 1 

Stage 1A Healthcare workers and frontline staff providing support in the public and private sectors. Adults older than 60, bedridden, in elderly shelters or nursing homes.

Stage 1B Healthcare workers not prioritized in Stage 1A, that are in the public and private sectors. Essential groups in the front line like the: Armed Forces or Security Forces (Fuerza Publica), SINAPROC, firefighters, and Red Cross, among others. Population above 16 years old with a certified disability from SENADIS (National Secretary of Disabilities) up until the 31st of December of 2020 and bedridden. ‘ Autoridad de Aseo (Trash collecting authority)

Phase 2 

Stage 2A Adults older than 60 Population ages 26-59 with chronic illnesses.

Stage 2B Teachers and private and public college and school administrators. CAIPIS staff (Personal development centers for early childhood)

Phase 3 

Stage 3A General population in the indigenous regions and areas that are difficult to get to.

Stage 3B Population of occupations in risk as the following: Airport, customs and immigration. Public transportation and shipment drivers. Prisoners.

Phase 4 Population 16- 59 years old without chronic illnesses. Population in general

For updated news on the COVID-19 vaccination program in Panama, check for updates.


The Bocas Breeze is a digital and print newspaper proudly serving the Bocas del Toro community since 2004; reporting news, advertising local businesses and promoting tourism in Bocas del Toro, Panama.

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