Costa Rican Social Security Will Apply 1.5 Million Doses of Influenza Vaccine

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    The Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) will use the extramural strategy in the vaccination campaign against seasonal influenza that will begin next week, announced the executive president of the CCSS, Dr. Román Macaya.

    The hierarch reported that this year 1.5 million doses will be applied, 200 thousand more compared to 2020. The institution’s investment amounts to $ 8,455,402.62, which represents 63% of the total invested in vaccines. The unit value of the influenza vaccine is $ 5.64 on average.

    Macaya explained that one million thirty-two thousand doses have quality control approval and are ready to be distributed. The remaining 468 thousand doses are in the process of quality control tests.

    The quality control is carried out by the Laboratory of Standards and Quality of Medicines of the CCSS, certified with the ISO 17.025 Standard for Testing Laboratories.

    Macaya indicated that the logistics of distribution of the vaccines and the required inputs are scheduled so that the regions can have them available so that the health areas carry out the local calls from next week and thus start the application in the Vaccination posts defined exclusively for seasonal influenza vaccination. He was positive that this year, like the previous ones, people go to vaccination centers to protect themselves against the flu.

    “The country has invested in annual influenza vaccination since 2004 to reduce the number of infections, hospitalizations and death in people at higher risk,” said Macaya.

    The vaccination campaign will be accompanied by a strong informative offensive with the production of messages on social networks, posters for health establishments, radio spots, animated videos, press management, press releases. As part of the EDUS platform, messages will be sent and progress information will also be posted on the web module:

    Costa Rica has a long history of using population immunization as a preventive public health measure, having one of the most extensive schemes in Latin America, said Dr. Macaya.

    He stressed that the basic scheme consists of 15 vaccines that protect against 19 diseases, which includes the life cycle of the population: minors, pregnant women and adults. In 2021, the CCSS estimates an investment of $ 16,751,300 in the basic vaccine schedule.

    In parallel

    For his part, the Minister of Health, Dr. Daniel Salas Peraza stated that “the vaccination against influenza will be developed in parallel with the immunization campaign against COVID-19, which requires the commitment of everyone in the success of this: the population attending to be vaccinated with due compliance with the COVID-19 prevention protocols and the CCSS with the organization that deserves to have the two active vaccination campaigns”.

    The medical manager, Dr. Mario Ruiz stressed that the influenza vaccine is acquired each year for a percentage of the population, in accordance with the goals and risk groups established by the National Commission for Vaccination and Epidemiology.

    This year the vaccination is carried out in a pandemic scenario and coincides with vaccination processes against COVID-19, which implies a great institutional effort to cover the country’s population.

    Vaccination is aimed at risk groups

    Dr. LeandraAbarca, from the Epidemiological Surveillance subarea, indicated that the influenza vaccine is quadrivalent, that is, it contains four strains of the most frequent viruses.

    The groups included by the National Commission for Vaccination and Epidemiology are:

    Children 6 months to less than 7 years (regardless of risk).

    Adults 58 and over (regardless of risk).

    Pregnant regardless of gestational age.

    Population aged 7 to 57 years (57 years, 11 months, 29 days) with the presence of any chronic disease: Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity grade III or morbid, Chronic Respiratory patients (Asthma-COPD-Chronic Bronquitos, Tuberculosis) or others such as kidney patients, Infant cerebral palsy (PCI), severe and moderate malnutrition, cancer, and primary, secondary, or acquired immunodeficiencies, Health Sector Workers (CCSS-MS), SENASA, 9-1-1 Workers, Migration and Immigration, Health Sciences students and related technicians who are carrying out clinical fields within the health facilities of the CCSS.


    Regarding precautions, Dr. Covers indicated that people who qualify in the risk group for vaccination against influenza and who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, should consider a period of 14 days between one vaccine and another.Similarly, if the person has a severe acute infection, they must wait until they recover and then give them the vaccine.

    It is important that people comment before applying the vaccine if they have any contraindications.Similarly, caution should be exercised in the use of the vaccine in children with febrile illness or severe acute infection. It is better to wait for the feverish or infectious process to pass and then make an appointment to vaccinate.In the case of people with a history of COVID-19, postpone vaccination until there is a complete medical evaluation.


    Abarca clarified that the use of antibiotics or breastfeeding or pregnancy does not contraindicate vaccination. He mentioned the contraindications of the vaccine in the case of people with a history of anaphylactic reactions or hypersensitivity to egg protein, chicken, formaldehyde or any component of the vaccine.Similarly, people with a history of GuillainBarre Syndrome in the 6 weeks prior to vaccination against Influenza.Regarding the history of seizures, vaccination against influenza is not contraindicated, emphasized galena.

    General distribution

    Abarca affirmed that the influenza vaccine can be applied simultaneously with other vaccines of the basic scheme.The vaccines will be distributed in health facilities according to the assigned population, so it is extremely important that communities are attentive to the communication of their Ebáis or health area about the sites where this vaccination will be carried out, said the doctor Eduardo Cambronero, director of the Health Services Network Directorate.

    As has historically occurred, influenza vaccination is applied to insured or uninsured people who meet any of the previously established criteria.Cambronero explained that the seven directorates of Integrated networks for the provision of health services have organized the vaccination process through different strategies focused primarily on outside the walls, located outside the health facilities.

    Strategic alliances are being made with community leaders and organizations, private companies, institutions, municipalities, among others.This will allow the use of additional resources such as: community rooms, educational centers, shopping centers, among others. In the same way, there is the participation of social actors and volunteers in this campaign.

    Some health areas, due to the characteristics of the population and geographical conditions, will carry out the campaign in their establishments, which will also be communicated.Due to the fact that the vaccination against covid-19 is maintained, different influenza vaccination sites were defined, which will be duly identified so that the population is attentive to the notices of the corresponding health area or Ebáis. There will also be exclusive vaccination teams with the goal of developing the campaign in the shortest time possible without exceeding the scheduled six weeks.

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