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    First vaccinated citizens against COVID-19 in Costa Rica will begin to receive second dose on January 14th

    CCSS asks the population that received the first dose punctuality to comply with the immunization schedule

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    The first vaccinated citizens against the novel Coronavirus in Costa Rica will receive their second dose of treatment on January 14th. The coordinator of the Expanded Immunization Program of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS), Leandra Abarca Gómez, pointed out that as of that date the vaccination schedules will begin to be completed, in the same order in which the first vaccines were started.

    In this way, the same group of 55 people that was symbolically injected with the first dose on the previous December 24th, will receive the second on January 14th. Those who received the vaccine on a date other than that of the official act, will be vaccinated 21 days after the first dose was administered, as recommended by the clinical studies of the vaccine by Pfizer and BioNTech (the only one so far applied in the country).

    Sequential process

    “We will start the process of the second doses soon, which is really one of those key and basic elements to achieve complete immunization of the groups to be vaccinated. This will start 21 days after the first dose was applied. The call to the population is that they help us, if they are already vaccinated and have the date of the second dose noted on the card, so that they know that they have to go to apply that second dose at the place where they were vaccinated the first time, because completing the two doses is what guarantees us that the results obtained in the study are those that we will have in the population”, explained the specialist.

    The epidemiologist doctor emphasized in her call to the vaccinated population to be punctual with the placement of the second dose and indicated that in case of delays, it will be the local levels of the institution administrators of the country’s medical centers that assess the availability and viability of applying the injection.

    “For us the ideal is to be able to apply the second dose at the appropriate time, at 21 days. So when we have a free period in our work hours, because even though we are in that free period, we have to remember that we have to comply with the application of the vaccine,” said the official.

    Abarca Gómez recalled that a strategy that works by blocks has been approved for the immunization campaign. So a medical center will first dedicate three weeks to give first dose injections and, in the following three weeks, it will only place second doses. In this way, it is ruled out that the same health establishment vaccinates first and second doses simultaneously.

    “Not in the same medical center. But in different establishments, yes, because as you have seen, each week different centers are added that start and they begin their first three weeks until that moment. Within the same establishment we will not have first and second dose, only in the first three weeks, first or second doses, but in another neighboring establishment it may be that they are applying first doses to their population”, stressed the coordinator of the Expanded Program of Immunizations.

    Guaranteeing completing the vaccination process

    The doctor stressed that this modality allows medical centers to guarantee a space to search for people who have to complete their vaccination schedule, in case they do not show up on time. In the case of health establishments, the same personnel who apply the first dose are the ones who apply the second doses, without differentiations in specialists or equipment.

    Regarding the vaccination days followed so far, the epidemiologist mentioned that there is a protocol in which once a patient is given the dose, they are asked to wait 15 minutes in the place to monitor for allergic reactions. Once that time has passed, the citizen can return to their daily activities.

    In case of an adverse effect to the vaccine, the person can report it or make inquiries with the local levels, through this website or through the 9-1-1 Emergency System. Abarca Gómez ruled out individual follow-ups.

    A total of 9,751 people have been vaccinated in the national territory between December 24th  and January 7th, according to information provided by the Social Security Fund. Of these, 83% are workers of the institution, 9.9% are older adults from long-stay care centers, 2.4% are household servants and 4.7% are other types of first-line civil servants such as police or first responders.

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