Costa Rica will receive its next shipment of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on Tuesday night, authorities announced.
Pfizer had suspended dose deliveries since late January as the pharmaceutical made improvements to its global supply chain. The resumption means Costa Rica can begin vaccinating all citizens and residents ages 58 and older against the coronavirus.
“Today, as we’ve expected since the end of January, … we have confirmed that they will resume,” said Alexander Solís, president of the National Emergency Commission (CNE). “The flight arrives this very night with the programmed deliveries.”
Solís said shipments will continue weekly until Pfizer satisfies the contract for 3 million doses, which Costa Rica purchased for $36 million. The country has administered 96,948 of the 104,325 doses (93%) it has received so far.
Beginning with Tuesday’s delivery, 80% of new doses will be reserved for elderly Costa Rican citizens and residents. The priority for vaccines is 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 contact their local EBAIS (public community health clinic) and ensure their contact information is current.
Direct deliveries of the AstraZeneca vaccine will begin in May, Solís said Tuesday. The country could receive AstraZeneca doses earlier as part of its enrollment in the Covax facility.
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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.