In Costa Rica, this past December 24th at 10:30 a.m., the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer / BioNTech were given to Elizabeth Castillo Cervantes, 91, Jorge De Ford Almetlla, 72, and CEACO officials, Dr. José Acuña Feoli, and nurse Tatiana Sancho Chacón .
With this opening ceremony, a vaccination process begins that will be carried out from this last week of 2020 and during all 2021. The vaccines that entered Costa Rica, will be applied to the primary risk group that are first responders and older adults in long-stay care centers and their workers.
According to the President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado, “this moment represents for the country the beginning of the path to end the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Like Elizabeth and Jorge, the rest of the residents of the long-stay center and the health people who care for the elderly in the place are being vaccinated.
At the PROPAM Long-stay Center, located in San Ramón de Tres Ríos, the President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado, Daniel Salas, Minister of Health, and Román Macaya, Executive President of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund, accompanied the elderly.
At the CEACO, where the first two CCSS officials were vaccinated, were Alexander Solís Delgado, president of the National Commission for Risk Prevention and Emergency Attention (CNE), Pedro González Morera, Vice Minister of Health and Dr. Mario Ruiz Cubillo, medical manager of the CCSS.
80% of the adult population would be vaccinated
Macaya explained that with the vaccination of 80% of the adult population, what is sought is that the Pandemic ceases to be a public health problem with a high level of emergency and can be managed without the full occupation of the health system being at risk. According to data from the CCSS, it is estimated that in Costa Rica, 3% of the population has become ill and recovered from COVID-19.
Prevention is still the best recommendation
The Health authorities and the CCSS ask the population to maintain preventive measures for hand washing, use of a mask, maintain physical distance and avoid crowds, which together with the vaccine is the strategy followed by the Ministry of Health for COVID-19.
Still, the Ministry of Health and the CCSS have not recommended specific treatments or medications to alleviate the symptoms of COVID-19, except for the acetaminophen they receive in the public health system. At the moment, the vast majority of patients who are cared for in the Ebais and test positive for COVID-19 only receive acetaminophen.