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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Health Ministry details Costa Rica vaccine side effects

The Health Ministry says 0.2% of Costa Ricans who received a Covid-19 vaccine reported symptoms that may have been attributed to the shot.

Headache, localized pain, muscle aches and a low-grade fever are the most common side effects reported after receiving a Covid-19 vaccine in Costa Rica.

Since December 24 through September 3, the country’s National Pharmacovigilance Commission has received 7,710 “Events Supposedly Attributable to Vaccination and Immunization” (ESAVI) related to the Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines.

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 ESAVIs, Costa Rican health authorities report 44 serious events, 38 of which occurred after receiving a Pfizer dose. These include 19 people who died in the days or weeks after receiving the vaccine.

The Health Ministry details the deaths as follows:

  • Nine cases were evaluated as “unlikely,” meaning they “do not meet the criteria to establish a causal relationship” with a vaccine.
  • Seven 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.
  • Three cases were classified as “possible,” meaning the death may have been due to other factors.

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

  • Fourteen “probable” events, given the potential relationship between the symptom and the administration of the vaccine.
  • Seven “possible” cases, since the symptoms may be due to other preexisting factors.
  • Four “conditional” cases, meaning pathologies presented by the patient could have triggered the condition.

Individuals can report adverse events that may be attributed to a Covid-19 vaccine to the health center at which they received the shot, or at www.notificacentroamerica.net

Costa Rica has administered more than 5.75 million doses of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines. More than 6,600 people in Costa Rica have died related to Covid-19.

Who can get vaccinated in Costa Rica?

All citizens and residents who are adults (18+) or who are teenagers (12+) with risk factors are eligible for the vaccine.

Documented migrants are also eligible. Undocumented migrants (e.g. perpetual tourists) who are 18 or older can receive a vaccine at CCSS facilities through Thursday of this week.

Click here for a list of Covid-19 vaccination sites in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is administering the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines. Both comprise two doses. Immunosuppressed individuals will receive a booster (third) dose in 2022.

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