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Who gets the coronavirus vaccine first?

December 16, 2020

Costa Rican health authorities on Wednesday provided a roadmap detailing which populations will receive the first doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

The National Commission of Vaccination and Epidemiology, part of the Health Ministry, indicated the priority will be as follows:

  • Staff and residents at retirement or nursing homes.
  • First responders, including health personnel.
  • Costa Rica’s older population, defined here as those ages 58 and up.
  • People with risk factors, including hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, respiratory illness, kidney disease and obesity, among others.
  • Teachers and other staff within the Education Ministry (MEP).
  • Imprisoned people and judicial staff.
  • Workers for the 911 service.
  • Health science students and related technicians in clinical fields.
  • People ages 40-57 without any of the aforementioned risk factors but whose work puts them in contact with others. This includes laborers in agriculture, construction, service industries, etc.

The Health Ministry on Tuesday authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine in Costa Rica. However, there is still no date for the arrival in Costa Rica of the first doses of the drug.

“Tentatively, the vaccination campaign against COVID-19 in our country would be carried out in the first quarter of 2021,” the Health Ministry said.

Costa Rica and Pfizer-BioNTech have an agreement for 3 million doses of the vaccine, enough for 1.5 million people. The Central American country also has a deal with AstraZeneca and is a member of the COVAX facility.

Costa Rica hopes to vaccinate 3 million people by the end of 2021. This would cover 80% of the country’s adult population, including everyone with known risk factors.

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