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Costa Rica
Monday, January 17, 2022

Costa Rica continues mandatory covid-19 vaccinations for children amid criticism

The Costa Rican government is trying to defend the mandatory vaccination of children against covid-19, a campaign it started on Monday, amidst criticism from some parts of the public and a group of deputies within the Congress. 

“It is a violation of the rights of minors and their health”, said the manager of the National Children’s Trust (PANI), Eduardo Montero.

In contrast, the vice minister of Health, Pedro González, said that “people can be sure that they are receiving a quality product. In the risk-benefit equation, the benefit is much greater (…). As for adults, this vaccine went through all the test phases”.

Declared a government decree in November, mandatory childhood vaccination has provoked demonstrations in the first days of the year. On January 6, attendees at a protest clamored for the vaccination of their children to be the decision of fathers and mothers. 

On Tuesday, January 11, deputies opposed to the vaccine summoned to the Legislative Assembly four specialists, among them a pediatrician, who pointed out alleged dangers of the inoculation. 

In this regard, Vice-Minister Gonzalez stated in the conference that “the risks of not being vaccinated are greater than the side effects”. The director of the Children’s hospital, Olga Arguedas, also clarified that the United States, Canada, Australia and other countries in Europe and Asia are also vaccinating children. 

Since the beginning of this week, the group between five and 11 years of age began to be vaccinated against covid, which in Costa Rica has infected 595,795 people, 12% of its 5 million inhabitants. It has also caused the death of 7,386, according to official figures.

Costa Rica is experiencing a strong rebound in the number of cases, with Tuesday having the highest number of reported infections since the pandemic broke out in March 2020, with 4,050 cases. 

According to Casa Presidencial, there is still no data on how many children under 12 years of age were vaccinated, as reports are made on a weekly basis.

Meanwhile, according to data from the CCSS, approximately 69.54% of the population has already received two doses of the immunization, 76.81% has one and 8.92% has already received the booster (third vaccine).

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