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Costa Rica has administered nearly 100,000 vaccine doses

February 15, 2021

Costa Rica has administered 96,948 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, the Presidency said Monday.

More than 42,500 people have already received both shots of the formula.

The 96,948 jabs mean Costa Rica has administered 1.88 doses per 100 people. This places the country behind the United States (15.9), Chile (10.1), Canada (3.3) and Brazil (2.5) for that metric on the American continent, according to The New York Times vaccination tracker.

Costa Rica is awaiting more shipments of the vaccine from Pfizer. The pharmaceutical has said it would resume deliveries in mid-February after making improvements to its global supply chain.

Additionally, Costa Rica could soon receive shipments of the AstraZeneca vaccine as part of the country’s enrollment in the Covax mechanism. The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday granted emergency use approval of the AstraZeneca formula.

“As more doses of vaccine enter the country, it will continue to be distributed to all areas of the national territory to advance the immunization process,” the Presidency said in a statement.

This month, Costa Rica plans to start vaccinating all citizens and residents who are 58 and older against the coronavirus.

“80% of the vaccines against Covid-19 that the country receives will be applied to the second priority group — all people over 58 years of age — with priority for the longest-lived people,” President Carlos Alvarado said earlier this month.

Costa Rica hopes plans to vaccinate every eligible adult against Covid-19, including at least 80% of adults in 2021. The vaccine is not obligatory, though authorities are reportedly considering making it mandatory in some situations.

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

  • First group: Staff and residents at retirement or nursing homes.First responders, including health personnel.
  • Second group: Costa Rica’s older population, defined here as those ages 58 and up. According to the Presidency, this group will be required to demonstrate residency with a cédula or DIMEX.
  • Third group: People from 18-58 with risk factors, including hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, respiratory illness, kidney disease and obesity, among others.
  • Fourth group: Teachers and other staff within the Education Ministry (MEP) or private schools. Imprisoned people and judicial staff. Workers for the 911 service.
  • Fifth group: 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 Caja will contact individuals to schedule their coronavirus vaccine. Those who fall into priority groups should call their local EBAIS (public community health clinic) and ensure their contact information is current.

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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