Starting in July, foreigners who apply for temporary or permanent residence in Costa Rica in will have to comply with the national vaccination program.

To that end, the Ministry of Health (Ministerio de Salud) and the immigration service *General de Migración y Extranjería – DGMIE) are currently working on the formulation of requirements, said the director of Health Surveillance (Vigilancia de la Salud), Rodrigo Marín Rodríguez.

It is a matter, he said, of respecting human rights while complying with the provisions of the General Health Law (Ley General de Salud) in this matter.

The ‘esquema nacional de vacunas’ (national vaccination program) is composed of 17 vaccines, including the most recent against rotavirus and human papillomavirus.

It includes, in addition, the vaccine against measles, rubella, and mumps, BCG, Hepatitis B, pneumococcus, influenza, tetanus and diphtheria, among others.

The provision has been in the works since March, following the entry in mid-February of a family of three French tourists with the measles virus. The parents and a six-year-old boy were hospitalized for a week at the Monseñor Sanabria Hospital in Puntarenas.

A month later several cases were detected, which eventually totaled six, among the nine children of a couple of an American missionaries family living in Cóbano de Puntarenas

This family was infected by another US missionary who spent two weeks in Costa Rica and also infected a Turrialba who served as a translator during her stay, Marín said.

In total, ten cases have been recorded this year. The ten cases were of 61 possible cases, of which 51 were ruled out.

Marín said that the active search for patients is maintained throughout the country, but so far they have not detected more cases.