The President of the Republic, Rodrigo Chaves, reiterated his intention that in Costa Rica vaccines against covid-19 are not mandatory. This was stated this Monday at a press conference, in which the future of the Minister of Health was discussed.
“I had to remove the mandatory nature of the vaccine (anticovid). Despite the Vaccine Commission and all the interests that have been behind them,” Chaves emphasized. Despite this, he mentioned that the vaccine will continue to be offered in health services.
Background to the decision
In the taking of powers on May 8th, 2022, the first two decrees were:
- Elimination of the mandatory use of the mask, except for workers in the health sector.
- Elimination of the mandatory vaccine against Covid-19.
However, on the recommendation of the National Vaccination and Epidemiology Commission (CNVE) in the General Health Law, it was established as one of the mandatory vaccines. In June, the Minister of Health announced that she would meet with the members of the CNVE to reach “a consensus” on the mandatory nature.
On August 3rd, the President expressed:
“Today vaccines are no longer mandatory and any action against someone who does not want to be vaccinated is a violation of the law.” In addition, he made accusations against members of the Vaccination Commission for expired appointments.
The situation generated friction between the former executive president of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) Álvaro Ramos and President Chaves. Ramos said that the obligation for workers in the health sector could not be removed until another decree was signed, its mandatory nature, however, is still under discussion.
Vaccinations for minors
It was on December 8th, when the Court of Appeals for Administrative and Civil Litigation of the Treasury, accepted a precautionary measure. In this way, mandatory vaccination against Covid-19 for people under 12 years of age was suspended.
“The effects of Executive Decree No. 43364 of December 13th, 2021 are suspended, only in the mandatory nature of vaccination in the pediatric population (up to twelve years of age), as long as there is no final judgment,” reads ruling 439- 2022-I. Given this scenario, by 2023, part of the efforts in Health will continue to be for the total elimination of the mandatory nature of this vaccine.