Vaccination against COVID-19 will include everyone at risk, even if they are not insured. This was announced by the authorities of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS). The process will begin in the first quarter of 2021 and will extend throughout all the year.
“Vaccination is for people who are in defined risk groups, regardless of their insurance status,” said the coordinator of the Fund’s Expanded Immunization Program, Leandra Abarca.
The risk groups are already defined in order of priority, which include the elderly, health personnel, people with risk factors, educators, deprived of liberty, among others.
The vaccine will be applied to all of them on a schedule that must be defined and will depend on the arrival of the doses in the country, this process will be for all identified persons regardless of their insurance status.
“The vaccine is not going to be charged (to the uninsured), here the primary interest is public health, that is, having people vaccinated and protected, not having a sick person or one who is going to die. “It is going to be more expensive for the country, probably, having a sick person then to charge for the vaccine, for that reason (the charge) has not been considered,” said Roberto Arroba, from the Directorate of Health Surveillance.
Citizens participation in vaccination is completely voluntary
The authorities assured that the application of the vaccine will not be given in a “mandatory” mode, as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO); however, it is trusted that most people will agree to the doses.
Costa Rica already has signed agreements that will allow it to receive six million doses, which will allow three million individuals to be vaccinated (two doses per person are required) and, according to estimates, this will achieve coverage of between 85 and 90% of the population, if the groups that will not receive it are subtracted.
“The vaccinated population is from 18 years old on, so it means that the entire population under 18 years of age is not included in this vaccination group, pregnant women are not considered, women who are breastfeeding are not considered, and, if we start to get numbers, when we see, in reality that 60% of the vaccinated population could be almost 85 or 90% of the nation’s population that could be vaccinated over 18 years of age, so until we have all that information, we would already think about buying new vaccines even not knowing if the vaccine can be applied in the pediatric population, to take this factor into consideration,” said Arroba.