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AstraZeneca completes Costa Rica vaccine shipments

AstraZeneca on Sunday delivered 256,200 Covid-19 vaccine doses to Costa Rica, completing the contracted amount between the pharmaceutical and the Central American country.

Costa Rica had ordered 1 million Covid-19 vaccine doses from AstraZeneca in 2020. The company donated an additional 31,400 doses that also arrived Sunday, the Presidency said.

“Exactly a year ago, when everything was still uncertain, we announced to the country the signing of an agreement with the company AstraZeneca to supply 1 million doses of its candidate vaccine against Covid-19. A year later, we completed this contract on time,” said President Carlos Alvarado.

“The vaccination process is the main tool to get out of this emergency. The call is to continue vaccinating ourselves to overcome this very difficult challenge.”

Costa Rica received about 7.5 million total vaccine doses. About 6.5 million came through purchases, with 1.03 million having been donated by the United States, Canada, Spain, the Dominican Republic and Austria, in addition to AstraZeneca.

In total, Costa Rica has purchased more than 12 million doses from Pfizer, AstraZeneca and through the Covax facility. Some 3.5 million won’t be delivered until 2022 and will be used to inoculate children and provide booster shots to at-risk populations.

More than 73% of the Costa Rican population has at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, while more than half (57%) have gotten both doses.

Some frontline workers (less than 0.5% of the population) have received a booster dose.

Costa Rica has administered 6.7 million doses across 3.8 million people as of the beginning of the week. This represents the highest vaccination rate in Central America based on share of the population that has received at least one dose. (El Salvador has fully vaccinated a larger share of its population.)

Serious side effects associated with Covid vaccines continue to be exceedingly rare. Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths have fallen sharply over recent weeks.

Who can get vaccinated in Costa Rica?

All citizens and residents ages 12 and older are eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine in Costa Rica.

Tourists and undocumented foreigners were temporarily eligible for the vaccine in Costa Rica in October; some locations may still offer shots to this population if doses are available.

Individuals should bring their identification document (cedula, DIMEX, passport). The vaccine is free, even for those who don’t pay into the Caja.

Costa Rica vaccine mandate

Starting January 8, Costa Rica plans to require proof of Covid-19 vaccination to enter many businesses and to participate in large events.

However, this is being challenged in court and may not be implemented on-schedule (or at all).

If the “vaccine passport” is implemented as planned, proof of complete Covid-19 vaccination would be required to enter: Restaurants and food courts; bars and casinos; stores and commercial centers; museums; gyms; hotels; worship sites; event halls; adventure tourism activities; theaters and cinemas; sporting events.

Where to get vaccinated in Costa Rica

Each of Costa Rica’s hundreds of public clinics (EBAIS) manages vaccines within its area. Individuals who are eligible for a vaccine can contact their local EBAIS to schedule their first dose. Many other locations are hosting mass-vaccination campaigns.

Costa Rica requires that people receive their second vaccine dose at the same location as their first. Pfizer doses had an 12-week interval in Costa Rica; that has since been reduced to eight weeks for most people.

Official Costa Rica Covid sources

Here at The Tico Times, we do our best to share the most relevant coronavirus information in a clear and concise manner.

As you’re navigating the pandemic and the associated ever-changing rules, here are the official sources for Covid-19 information in Costa Rica:

Costa Rica’s official language is Spanish, so all of the above sources will be in that language. Of course, we at The Tico Times will continue to provide timely, accurate information as it develops.

Thanks for reading!

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