Costa Rica advances smoothly in vaccination against COVID-19

    Hoping to successfully vaccinate a significant number of the population during this year

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    The Costa Rican authorities reported this week that the vaccination process against COVID-19 in the first priority population group is progressing smoothly according to the number of doses that the country is receiving each week from the pharmaceutical company Pfizer.

    The Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) detailed that, as of January 7th, 9,751 people have received the first dose of the vaccination and the second of the batches already delivered has been reserved for them, which must be placed 21 days later.

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    Since December 23rd, Costa Rica has received three batches for a total of 54,600 doses and expects deliveries to continue on a weekly basis until meeting the 3 million doses purchased from Pfizer and with which 1.5 million will be protected population.

    Priority groups

    Of the vaccines given so far, 83% have been applied to health workers, 9.9% to elderly people in nursing homes, 2.4% to workers in these long-stay homes and 4.7% to other front-line Pandemic response workers such as police and firefighters. These people make up the first priority group that the authorities hope to have fully vaccinated in the first quarter of the year.

    Most of the vaccines have been applied to workers in the country’s main hospitals, located in the capital San José, and the process is expected to intensify in the rest of the country as of next week.

    The entity explained that vaccinating health system workers aims to guarantee the continuity of health services and lower the risk of a healthy person becoming ill when visiting health facilities. The CCSS report details that of the total vaccinated, 42 people reported having mild side effects such as headaches, fatigue and body pain.

    More vaccines on the way

    This country of 5 million inhabitants also has an agreement with the COVAX mechanism to vaccinate 1 million people and another with AstraZeneca that will cover 500,000 people, but there is still no date for the start of deliveries.

    In total, the Costa Rican authorities hope to have vaccinated 3 million people by the end of 2021, equivalent to 80% of the country’s adult population. The goal is to vaccinate the first priority group in the first quarter of 2021 and continue with the rest throughout the year.

    The second priority group for the vaccination corresponds to people over 58 years of age; the third group will be the population between 18 and 58 years old with risk factors; the fourth corresponds to workers of the Ministry of Education, other public officials and those deprived of liberty, and the fifth covers people between 40 and 57 years of age who do not fall within the previous definitions.

    This past Friday, Costa Rica recorded 1,207 new cases of COVID-19 and 19 deaths, figures that have remained without major variation in recent months. In total, this country accumulates 177,614 cases and 2,305 deaths.

    After several months of gradual closings and openings, Costa Rica has maintained practically all economic activities enabled since last October, with sanitary measures and protocols for distancing.

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