QCOSTARICA – Costa Rica’s oldest, among some of the oldest in the world, got vaccinated against Covid-19 on Friday, January 15.
They are Rainery Fonseca Gutiérrez, 106; Cristóbal Muñoz Villalobos, 103; and María González González, 102, all residents of Hogar de Ancianos San Blas, in Nicoya’s ‘blue zone’.
“It is with much pride to be in this process of vaccination against covid-19 and especially to start it with seniors who are over 100 years old. People who are indigenous, pillars and bastions of the Nicoyan community, one of the five blue zones of the world.
“Offering the first dose to doña Rainery, don Cristóbal and doña María is a milestone in history, not only in the Chorotega region but also in Costa Rica,” commented Luis Carlos Villalobos Monestel, director of the Nicoya Health Area.
The blue zone of Costa Rica is made up of five cantons of the Nicoya peninsula: Carrillo, Santa Cruz, Nicoya, Hojancha and Nandayure.
These communities share that title with the island of Sardinia, in Italy; Okinawa, in Japan; Loma Linda, in California, USA, and Ikaría, in Greece.
Read more: An Intro to “Blue Zones”
There, being over 90 is common. People who reach these ages have a good diet, physical activity, a strong relationship with family and friends, a life project and a lot of spirituality.
An investigation by the Central American Population Center of the University of Costa Rica (UCR), carried out in 2004 by demographer Luis Rosero Bixby, found that in the Costa Rican blue zone the mortality of those over 90 years of age is 10% lower than in the rest of the country, and that cancer mortality is 23% lower.
As of Thursday, January 14, Costa Rica had applied 24,859 doses against covid-19. Of these, 55 correspond to second doses of people who received their first injection on December 24.
Most of these vaccines have been given to workers of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro social (19,425 doses), seniors (2,716) and workers (624) in long-stay homes, and first responders (2,094).