QCOSTARICA – On Thursday, December 24, 35 seniors and workers from the Hogar Propam Fundación for seniors and 20 officials from the Specialized Center for the Care of Patients with covid-19 (CEACO) received the first dose fo the covid-19 vaccine.
These people received the immunization as part of the opening day of the vaccination campaign and after the Government received the first 9,750 doses of the vaccine from the pharmaceutical house Pfizer/BioNTech on the night of December 23.
Health workers included physicians, nurses, patient assistants, cleaning, laboratory, and respiratory therapy personnel.
The first seniors to receive the vaccine were 91-year-old Doña Elizabeth Castillo Cervantes, and 72-year-old Don Jorge De Ford Atmella; the first Ceaco officials, were Dr. José Acuña Feoli and the nurse Tatiana Sancho Chacón.
According to the information released by the Presidency on December 25, the vaccination of people included in the first group will continue next week.
In this first phase, the elderly and staff of long-stay centers will be covered, as well as personnel from the Red Cross, firefighters, police and health workers from the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS).
CCSS medical director, Dr. Gonzalo Zúñiga Mendoza, asked the population to wait for their local health clinic (Ebais) to call them, “it is important that people do not crowd the health services asking about the vaccine, but to wait for us to make the statement to tell them in which risk group they should be cared for and when they should go to be vaccinated at the place indicated”.
The CCSS recalled that vaccination will be sustained throughout 2021 but not massively, so people must be vigilant and respect the order according to the five groups defined by the National Vaccine Commission.
“We need the support of the communities so that the vaccination process is in a controlled and orderly manner. There will be a vaccine for all risk groups,” said Leandra Abarca, coordinator of the Expanded Program of Immunizations of the CCSS.
The order in which people will be summoned to receive the vaccine will be as follows:
- FIRST GROUP: elderly people residing in a long-stay center, and those who work in these places. Also health, police and emergency personnel.These front-line personnel are made up of: the workers of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund, the Ministry of Health, the personnel who work in private hospitals, the National Emergency Commission, Firefighters, the Red Cross and the security police forces, Transit, Migration, prisons, municipalities and the Judicial Investigation Agency (OIJ).
- SECOND GROUP: people aged 58 or over, regardless of whether or not they have any risk factors. Age will be verified by means of the national identity card or residence card.
- THIRD GROUP: people between 18 and 58 years old with some risk factor such as hypertensive, diabetic, heart disease, chronic respiratory disease, people with chronic kidney disease, grade III and morbid obesity and cancer patients.
- FOURTH GROUP: officials of the Ministry of Public Education and private educational centers, and those who work in the comprehensive care centers (CAI) and shelters of the National Children’s Trust. Also people deprived of liberty and those who work for the 9-1-1 Emergency System.
- FIFTH GROUP: students of health sciences and related technicians in clinical fields of the CCSS; people between 40 and 57 years old without any of the risks previously described, but who carry out work activities where they have contact with other people or have an impact on the productive sector, such as agriculture, construction, customer service, restaurants, domestic workers, among others.
The country purchased a total of six million vaccines to immunize three million inhabitants over 18 years of age
Of these, 3 million were ordered from Pfizer/Biontech, 1 million doses from AstraZeneca / University of Oxford and 2 million doses through the COVAX initiative.
Health Minister Daniel Salas assured that batches of vaccines such as the one received this Wednesday will continue to arrive in the coming weeks.
“It is important to understand that the health areas (clinics) will gradually receive the vaccines and will be communicating to their assigned population at the moment they will start the vaccination process. Each person will receive two doses with an interval of 21 days,” added the Caja in the statement this Friday.