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Costa Rica to vaccinate entire adult population against Covid-19

January 25, 2021

Costa Rica plans to vaccinate its entire adult population against the coronavirus and has signed a budget to accomplish that goal, President Carlos Alvarado announced Monday.

“We signed the budget that provides resources to vaccinate against COVID-19 the entire population over the age of 18 without medical contraindications (3.7 million people),” President Alvarado shared on social media. “I thank Congress for its agile work for approval. Vaccinating is protecting and promoting economic recovery.”

As of Monday, 45,707 people in Costa Rica have received the first vaccine jab. An additional 2,421 have been given both the first and second doses.

Costa Rica offers vaccines for free to citizens and residents through the public-health system.

The country already has deals for enough coronavirus vaccines to cover 3 million people in 2021, constituting about 80% of the adult population. The newly signed budget allocates financing for to inoculate 648,000 more adults.

The eventual purchase price for those additional vaccines will depend on the vaccine’s source:

  • Doses purchased through the COVAX mechanism cost an average cost of $10.55 per dose. The vaccines for 648,000 additional people were calculated at this price.
  • Doses purchased from AstraZeneca cost of $4 plus transportation, amounting to a maximum of $5 per dose. This formula was approved by the UK, but it’s not yet authorized in the United States or Costa Rica.
  • The 3 million doses purchased from Pfizer cost $36,000,000, including transportation. This calculates to $12 per dose.

The coronavirus vaccine is not obligatory, Costa Rican authorities have said. Still, Costa Rica has among the highest vaccination rates in the region. According to The World Bank, 96% of Costa Rican children ages 12-23 months are vaccinated against measles, compared to 92% in the United States.

Citizens and residents who fall into one of the priority populations should ensure their contact information is current at their local public-health clinic (EBAIS).

Authorities have not announced if or when a coronavirus vaccine would be available for purchase at private health centers and/or pharmacies.

Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine doses began arriving in Costa Rica in late 2020. That is the only formula currently being administered.

The latest Covid data

See the below graph for the latest Costa Rica coronavirus updates:

If you believe you have COVID-19, contact Costa Rica’s hotline at 1322. English-speaking staff and mental health professionals are available. Visit the Costa Rican Presidency for the official list of coronavirus measures and alerts. 

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