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Costa Rica receives largest shipment of Covid vaccines

May 5, 2021

Costa Rica received a shipment of 124,020 Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccines on Tuesday night and has been delivered 1.38 million total doses from that pharmaceutical and the Covax mechanism.

The Social Security Fund (Caja) reports 950,252 total doses applied, which represents 75% of the total vaccines received by Costa Rica through last week.

Month Doses applied
December 55
January 48,073
February 221.207
March 234,543
April 565,897

“In May a higher entry of vaccines is expected than in April, which will lead to an increase in the application of doses,” the Presidency said in a statement.

More than 16% of the Costa Rican population that needs to be vaccinated already has at least one dose of a vaccine, per government figures. Authorities project the inoculation of people over 65 years of age will be completed by May 15, and all Group 2 before the end of June.

“The Government of the Republic insists on its call to abide by sanitary measures: social distancing, respect for social bubbles and hand washing,” the Presidency said. “In this way, between all of them, the increase in Covid-19 infections will be flattened and we will avoid the saturation of hospital services.”

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. Then, all remaining adults.

Costa Rica is currently vaccinating Groups 1 and 2 in the above list, and many regions have started administrations for Group 3.

Vaccines are free through the Social Security System and are not yet available for private purchase, though the Health Ministry last month authorized the private sector to import doses.

Vaccinations are administered at EBAIS, which are the public-health clinics that comprise part of Costa Rica’s national healthcare system.

Each individual EBAIS manages a list of people who live in their jurisdiction. This list is used to identify priority individuals and to schedule their vaccine appointments.

If you are in one of the priority groups, you should contact your local EBAIS, make sure they have your contact information, and confirm you’re on their list.

For EBAIS contact information, click here.

The “Grupos de vacunación por Áreas de Salud y Contacto” section lists all of the hundreds of EBAIS across Costa Rica and shows which populations they are currently vaccinating (e.g. between 70 and 80 years old, between 58 and 64 years old, etc.).

Further down the page, the “Información de Contacto” section lists the appropriate contact information (phone number and email address) for each EBAIS.

To track vaccine shipments, click here.

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