On December 24, 2020 at 10:30 a.m., Mrs. Elizabeth Castillo Cervantes received her first dose against SARS-CoV-2 at Christmas. Less than a year later, the same Elizabeth, now 92 years old, received her third dose, which finishes her vaccination treatments and begins the 3rd vaccination dose process for people over 65 years of age throughout the country.
“The road we have traveled during the pandemic has taken a different course since the vaccination. Although the pandemic continues, today we are in a better place, because we went from uncertainty to hope and from hope to action, today what protects and what keeps the indicators of infection, hospitalization and death so low is vaccination. We urge all senior citizens with more than 6 months of having completed their vaccination schedule to go to the vaccination centers”, affirmed the President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado.
As well as Mrs. Elizabeth, the rest of the residents of the PROPAM long stay center located in San Ramon de Tres Rios were vaccinated. On site with President Alvarado were the Minister of Health, Daniel Salas; the President of the National Commission for Risk Prevention and Emergency Attention (CNE), Alexander Solís; the Vice-Minister of Health, Pedro González; and the Medical Manager of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS), Randall Álvarez.
Costa Rica Health Minister asks for Vigilance
The health minister reiterated the call to continue reinforcing hygiene protocols in the midst of the festivities and the relaxation of sanitary measures, particularly in light of the SARS-CoV-2 omicron virus variant. “The pandemic has been a very long trance, we must keep in mind that pandemic phenomena continue to evolve, but the authorities continue to gather and study the necessary information to learn more about this variant, which at the moment we know is more transmissible and that vaccines are effective against it,” he commented.
As happened almost a year ago, with this opening ceremony begins a vaccination process that continues simultaneously with the first and second doses in people older than 12 years who have not yet started or completed the vaccination schedule.
“We make an extensive call for senior citizens, starting tomorrow, to go to any CCSS vaccination center to receive their third dose. This process is part of the strategies that the institution maintains to avoid hospital collapse and the spread of the virus,” said the medical manager of the CCSS, Randall Alvarez.
In order to carry out this process of application of third doses, the obtaining of 500,000 vaccines with the Government of Spain is at an advanced stage, which are expected to be received between the end of December or the beginning of January. These would be added to the pending doses to be delivered this year by the company Pfizer/BioNTech (336,830).
“The country has received more than 7.9 million doses, of which 90.78% have been applied by the CCSS. The country is ready to receive what was agreed in the contracts for the year 2022, we also have contingency plans according to the need for vaccination in the different epidemiological scenarios”, mentioned the president of the CNE, Alexander Solis.
As of December 6, the CCSS reports that 39,060 people have already received their third dose, corresponding to first line of response personnel, and are part of the accumulated application totaling 7,222,020 doses applied between first, second and third doses.
Vaccination For Costa Rica Children
The Minister of Health, Daniel Salas, announced that children’s vaccination is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2022. This process would start once the country begins to receive – gradually – doses from the pharmaceutical company Pfizer/BioNTech, with which the acquisition of 3,500,000 more doses for the year 2022 has been agreed.
Salas mentioned that the strategy for the application of the pediatric vaccines is still under analysis, but as part of this, the educational centers will be involved in a process that will cover the minors in the vaccinable age range.
This process would be carried out with the consent of the person in charge, but always respecting the best interest of the child, which implies the obligatory nature of the vaccine, as it is traditionally done with other vaccines such as varicella, polio, measles-rubella, among others.