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Costa Rica expands vaccine access to ages 30 and older

Costa Rica has expanded vaccine access to all citizens and residents ages 30 and older, the Social Security System (CCSS) announced Monday.

The news comes as demand for the vaccine dropped Monday after long lines were reported at many health centers throughout the weekend.

“Covid-19 vaccination teams in health areas and hospitals monitor the demand on a daily basis to guarantee the application of all scheduled doses,” the CCSS said in a statement. “This made it possible to activate contingency plans due to the decrease in the influx of people aged 40 and over.” 

San Juan de Dios Hospital in San José will vaccinate all citizens and residents ages 12 and older against Covid-19 on Monday, authorities informed.

The public hospital is administering doses from 6 a.m. through 8 p.m. at their annex building, located on the southern side of La Merced Park.

Hospital Mexico, also located in San José, is vaccinating anyone ages 30 and older on Monday, it announced on social media. They will vaccinate until 4 p.m. at the facilities of the National Learning Institute (INA) in La Uruca.

Oxigeno Mall in Heredia is also vaccinating citizens and residents ages 30 and older until 5 p.m. or until supplies last.

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.

News outlets and social-media posts reported long lines — sometimes of 1 km or more — at some vaccination clinics over the weekend as Costa Ricans queued for their shots.

Photo via Twitter.

“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,” said President Carlos Alvarado.

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 30-57 without any of the aforementioned risk factors. Some locations are vaccinating younger adults and teenagers.

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.

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