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U.S. donation allows Costa Rica to expand vaccine access

The donation of 500,000 Covid-19 vaccines from the United States that arrived on Tuesday night will allow Costa Rica to expand vaccine access, authorities said.

Starting Friday, adults ages 40 and older — with or without risk factors — will be eligible for a vaccine in Costa Rica, representing the beginning of administrations for the fifth and final group.

“Taking into account the arrival of the direct donation of vaccines against Covid-19 by the United States government, as well as the next shipments from the company Pfizer, the National Commission for Vaccination and Epidemiology endorsed the opening of Group 5 as of this Friday, July 16, 2021,” the Social Security System (CCSS, or Caja) announced.

The Caja says it will “maintain the vaccination process in all its care centers, and at this stage the vaccine will also be available in some CCSS hospitals.”

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: People ages 40-57 without any of the aforementioned risk factors. Then, all remaining adults and teenagers.

Individuals who are eligible for a vaccine should contact their local public clinic (EBAIS) to schedule their first dose. For EBAIS contact information, click here and follow the link to “Contacto.”

Costa Rica has received more than 3.3 million vaccine doses, the vast majority of which are the Pfizer/BioNTech formula. To track vaccine shipments, click here.

Covid vaccines are safe and effective, authorities say, and serious reactions remain exceedingly rare.

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