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HomeNewsCosta RicaSerious Covid vaccine side effects rare, says Costa Rica's Health Ministry

Serious Covid vaccine side effects rare, says Costa Rica’s Health Ministry

The Health Ministry says headache, localized pain and a low-grade fever are the most common side effects reported after receiving a Covid-19 vaccine in Costa Rica.

Since December 24, the country’s National Pharmacovigilance Commission has received 3,536 “Events Supposedly Attributable to Vaccination and Immunization” (ESAVI) related to the Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines. This represents adverse events after 0.4% of the total vaccines administered as of the first week of May.

An ESAVI is defined as “any unfavorable, unintended health situation that occurs after vaccination/immunization but that does not necessarily have a causal relationship with the vaccination process or with the vaccine.”

Of the 3,536 ESAVIs, Costa Rican health authorities have identified 14 serious events, all of which occurred after receiving a Pfizer dose. These include four people with multiple comorbidities who died in the days or weeks after receiving the vaccine.

Those four deaths in detail:

  • Two cases were determined as having a “conditional” tie to the vaccine. This means that while the factors that caused the death have not been firmly established, the vaccine is not known to have been a factor.
  • Two cases were classified as “unlikely,” meaning they “do not meet the criteria to establish a causal relationship with the vaccine.” 

Of the 10 remaining special-interest events, the Health Ministry detailed them as follows:

  • Five events that were “probably” related to the vaccine.
  • Two events that were “possibly” related to the vaccine, though the patient had other factors that may have caused it.
  • Three “conditional” cases where pre-existing conditions are believed to have been a causing factor.

Costa Rica has administered more than 1.46 million doses of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines. More than 3,900 people in Costa Rica have died related to Covid-19, and 529 people are in intensive care with Covid-19 as of Wednesday afternoon.



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