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Costa Rica will receive first AstraZeneca vaccine shipment this week

April 5, 2021

On Wednesday, Costa Rica will receive its first shipment of AstraZeneca vaccines through the COVAX mechanism, the government reported.

“The World Health Organization (WHO) informed Costa Rica this weekend of the shipment of 43,200 doses of vaccine against COVID-19, acquired through the COVAX mechanism,” the Health Ministry said in a statement.

“They will be received this Wednesday, April 7, by air, on a flight that will arrive in the morning hours on national soil.”

The COVAX mechanism will deliver doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, representing the first import of that formula into national territory. Costa Rica has so far only applied the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

“The doses endorsed by the WHO and that will be received are from the company AstraZeneca, a drug authorized for use in our country since February 26, after the analysis of the different aspects of quality, effectiveness and safety,” the Health Ministry said.

The European Medicines Agency says it is conducting an “ongoing review of very rare cases of unusual blood clots” that may be associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“EMA is of the view that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine in preventing COVID-19, with its associated risk of hospitalisation and death, outweigh the risks of side effects,” the health agency said in a March 31 statement.

Costa Rica has injected at least 384,355 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech formula, meaning the country has reached a vaccine application rate of 7.44 per 100 inhabitants.

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.

You can track Costa Rica’s vaccine rollout at this link. It includes important information about which populations are elegible for the vaccine at local health clinics across the country.

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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