QCOSTARICA – It will be after March when the vaccination against covid-19 begins for people aged 58 and over, who make up the second priority group, regardless of whether or not they have any risk factors.
Leandra Abarca Gómez, coordinator of the Expanded Immunization Program of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) – Costa Rican Social Security Fund, made the announcement on Tuesday afternoon, during a press conference.
The vaccination program with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine began on December 24. The CSS is focusing on dosing well nursing home residents, nursing home workers and hospital and clinic officials and first responders (emergency personnel) who are most at risk of becoming infected (and later infecting others) with the virus.
Vaccination of the second group is scheduled for the second trimester (starting in April) but could start earlier, dependent on the arrival of the supply of vaccines.
“The amount that we are applying is in relation to those (vaccines) that are entering the country and it is being done in a safe and controlled manner, if more vaccines arrive it will be more agile. The vaccination rhythm is established by the arrival of the vaccines to the country,” clarified Abarca.
Abarca emphasized that Costa Rica no inventory of the vaccines, therefore, “little by little” the program moves to the different groups.
Abarca indicated that at the time when the doses will be available for those over 58 years of age and for the population with risk factors, it would be communicated and each health area would establish the tools to address each of the vaccine candidates.
The CCSS will apply about six million doses for three million people against covid-19 throughout 2021. If the other vaccination campaigns are added to this, explained Abarca, nine million vaccines would be applied in these 12 months.
The vaccination strategy contemplates that whoever receives the first dose from a pharmaceutical company will receive the second dose, 21 days after the first,, with the same vaccine.
The five established groups are:
FIRST GROUP: The elderly residing in a long-stay center, and those who work in these places, and front-line personnel such as workers of the CCSS, the Ministry of Health, personnel who work in private hospitals, the National Emergency Commission, first responders such as firefighters, Red Cross and security police forces, such as transito, immigration, prisons, municipalities and the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ).
SECOND GROUP: Those aged 58 or over, regardless of whether or not they have any risk factors. Age will be verified by means of the cedula (national identity card) or Dimex (residency 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 (ie teachers, principals, support staff, etc), and those who work in the comprehensive care centers (CAI) and shelters of the Patronato Nacional de la Infancia (PANI), the child welfare agency. Also prisoners 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.