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Costa Rica will receive Covax vaccines in May

Costa Rica received 109,980 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on Tuesday night, the single-largest shipment delivered to the country, the Presidency reported.

Costa Rica has now received more than 386,000 total Pfizer doses, enough for 193,000 people. The country’s contract with Pfizer is for 3 million doses of the two-shot vaccine.

Eighty percent of vaccines received Tuesday — about 55,000 doses — will go toward inoculating Costa Rica’s second priority group (58 years and older), starting with the most elderly.

Costa Rica has administered at least 149,812 vaccine shots, representing about 39% of its total supply — though vaccination numbers were last updated early this week.

Costa Rica’s vaccine priority 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 call 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.

AstraZeneca, Covax & freezers (oh my!)

Direct deliveries of the AstraZeneca vaccine will begin in May, the National Emergency Commission (CNE) says.

In May, Costa Rica will also receive its first vaccine deliveries through the Covax facility, a global program led in part by the World Health Organization to ensure equitable distribution of doses.

“Through a note sent to the Ministry of Health, the multilateral COVAX mechanism reported that this May, 218,400 doses (in a first shipment) of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine from AstraZeneca will be received,” the Presidency reported.

Through the Covax facility, Costa Rica will receive enough vaccines for 20% of its population, or about 1 million people.

Costa Rica this week received 13 ultra-low temperature freezers, which will help improve national distribution of the Pfizer vaccine.

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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