President Carlos Alvarado received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine on Friday as Costa Rica began a widespread national campaign over the weekend.
“Today I attended with [First Lady Claudia Dobles] my vaccination appointment against Covid-19 in the health area of Santa Ana,” wrote the 41-year-old leader. “Opening vaccination for all people over 40 is a great step of hope for all Costa Rica.”
Hoy asistí con Claudia a la cita de vacunación contra COVID-19 en el área de salud de Santa Ana.
Abrir la vacunación para todas las personas mayores de 40 años es un gran paso de esperanza para toda 🇨🇷
Mi agradecimiento al personal de los Ebais y a los Ataps en todo el país. pic.twitter.com/xjkFSywlWO
— Carlos Alvarado Quesada (@CarlosAlvQ) July 16, 2021
Costa Rica hopes to administer 500,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech formula in the 10 days that began Friday. The national efforts come after a United States donation of as many doses.
The country is prioritizing vaccinating all citizens and residents ages 40 and older, in addition to teenagers and adults with risk factors.
News outlets and social-media posts reported long lines — sometimes of 1 km or more — at some vaccination clinics as Costa Ricans queued for their shots.
“Hope is breathed in all of Costa Rica. Throughout the national territory and in each vaccination center there are lines that show a country that believes in vaccines, that is walking with confidence toward herd immunity,” said President Alvarado.
“Thanks to every Costa Rican who heeds the call for vaccination, and thanks to all the people who are part of the success of this vaccination campaign against Covid-19.”
Since Friday, the following citizens and residents are eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine in Costa Rica:
- 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.
- 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.
Each of Costa Rica’s hundreds of public clinics (EBAIS) manages vaccines in its health area. Individuals who are eligible for a vaccine should contact their local EBAIS to schedule their first dose. (For EBAIS contact information, click here and follow the link to “Contacto.”)
For a full list of mass vaccination sites across Costa Rica, click here. (Link downloads as an Excel file.)
As of July 13, the latest available data, Costa Rica has administered 2.6 million Covid-19 vaccine doses across 1.8 million people.