Costa Rica received 119,340 more doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on Tuesday night for a total of 676,455, the Presidency reported.
As of Monday, Costa Rica had administered 312,425 doses in first responders and the elderly. The country’s contract with Pfizer is for 4 million doses of the two-shot vaccine.
The College of Doctors and Surgeons of Costa Rica has criticized parts of the vaccination process as “slow and deficient,” while one lawmaker has questioned why the country doesn’t have agreements with pharmaceuticals other than Pfizer and AstraZeneca.
Until April, Costa Rica has paused initial vaccine doses for its elderly population to ensure those who have already received the first jab are administered their second shot.
Alexander Solís, president of the National Emergency Commission, labeled the latest shipment as “vaccines of hope.”
“We would expect to complete next week the commitment of about 750,000 doses by the first quarter of the year,” he said.
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 and Covax
Direct deliveries of the AstraZeneca vaccine will begin in May, the 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 the Covax facility, Costa Rica will receive enough vaccines for 20% of its population, or about 1 million people.
The AstraZeneca vaccine has not been approved in the United States, and questions about the data used in studies touting the formula have raised concerns this week.
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.