QCOSTARICA – In order to maintain the rate of vaccination against covid-19 in the health areas that show the greatest progress in this process and have greater options for using the AstraZeneca vaccine, the National Vaccination Commission and Epidemiology (CNVE) authorized health areas, to begin the protection of the people that make up group 3; that is, those with at least one risk factor for seriously ill from COVID-19, with ages between 18 and 57 years.
As explained by Dr. Mario Ruiz, medical manager of the Caja Costarricense de Seguor Social (CCSS), the authorization is given at the request made by the Caja to allow health areas that have an advance greater than 80% in the application of first doses of the vaccine against covid -19 in prioritized group 2 can initiate immunization of the third prioritized group.
Our priority is to finish vaccinating the elderly, but we also need to advance in the vaccination process with group 3 in those health areas that are already close to concluding with group 2. We cannot stop, ” said Dr. Ruiz.
Among the risk factors that characterize those who make up priority group 3: hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, chronic respiratory disease, chronic kidney disease, morbid obesity, cancer, HIV-AIDS, and beneficiaries of organ transplants.
The health areas that will begin with the vaccination of the third prioritized group will be: Coronado, Desamparados 3, Corralillo, Acosta, Goicoechea 1, Valverde Vega, Zarcero, Puerto Viejo-Sarapiquí, Parrita, San Rafael, Montes de Oro, Chomes-Monteverde, Garabito, Cóbano, Ciudad Quesada, Guatuso, Los Chiles, Santa Rosa, Jicaral, Hojancha, Osa, Coto Brus and Valle La Estrella.
This group will gradually increase as application coverage and the availability of vaccines increase in the country.
The vaccination is being carried out by appointment (confirmed by telephone) in groups from older to younger, starting with those between 57 and 50 years old and from the lists that are generated from Expediente Digital Único en Salud (EDUS) of the CCSS.
In the case of people with risk factors they must register to be part of the registry of people to be vaccinated.
The Minister of Health, Daniel Salas Peraza, assured that the Pfizer vaccine will continue to be used in prioritized group 2, given that the time between doses is shorter, which implies acceleration in the objective of achieving immunity of this most vulnerable population. While the AstraZeneca vaccine is applied in the group 1 population or group 3 with risk factors over 18 years of age, with no age or gender limit, with the exception of pregnant women.
However, the application of AstraZeneca doses was authorized in group 2 people who are bedridden or reside in areas of difficult access where the necessary conditions are not met to ensure the stability of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
The Ministry of Health and the CCSS urge the population to maintain preventive measures against covid-19, such as frequent handwashing with soap and water, distancing themselves and the use of a mask, mainly at times when registers the highest number of daily cases due to covid-19 since the pandemic began, which has led to a very high demand in health services.