Thursday 30 March 2023

Costa Rica gvt signs decree that imposes mandatory vaccination

The measure establishes the COVID-19 vaccine as mandatory for public sector workers and empowers private employers to demand it from their workers

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QCOSTARICA – Costa Rica’s President Carlos Alvarado signed this Monday the decree that establishes the vaccination against COVID-19 as mandatory for public sector workers and that empowers private employers to demand it from their employees.

The decree, which was also signed the Minister of Health, Daniel Salas, is expected to be published today in the official government newsletter La Gaceta, will take effect Friday, October 15.

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The decree indicates that “it will be the responsibility of the employer to take the corresponding measures in accordance with the country’s legislation and institutional regulations, in the case of workers who do not want to be vaccinated against COVID-19.”

Deaths related to COVID-19 represent the highest number of deaths in our country, in modern times, due to a single cause.Casa Presidencial

On September 28, Minister Salas announced that the decree would be signed to establish the mandatory vaccination for all public sector workers, as a measure to reduce deaths and hospitalizations that in the last two months have registered the highest figures to throughout the pandemic.

On October 2, a group of protesters took to the streets demanding respect for individual freedoms and an end to restrictions on the economy. Attendees showed banners with messages such as “Not my children”, “With children you do not experience”, “No to the global medical dictatorship” and “My body, my decision.”

Private employers will also be empowered to demand vaccination from their workers, in accordance with their internal provisions.

A “constitutional” obligation

The Government affirmed in the statement that the decree is supported by resolutions of the Constitutional Court that “has recognized the importance of vaccination as part of the essential health care that the Costa Rican State must guarantee in order to protect the fundamental right to health of everybody”.

According to the Government, the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court has also determined that “the protection of public health and the prevention of diseases constitutes a constitutionally legitimate purpose that can validly justify the mandatory nature of vaccines.”

High vaccination rate

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On Monday, the Ministry of Health reported 390 of the 1,143 Covid-19 patients in hospital were in an Intensive Care Units (ICU), a number above the optimal capacity of 359 spaces and around 90% of the interned there are people who have not been vaccinated or who have not completed their vaccination schedule.

Today, October 12, new data on the progress of the vaccination program is expected to be published by the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS). With data as of October 4, 5,760,293 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been applied, of which 3,470,013 are first doses (67.21% of the total population and 2,290,280 (44.36% of the total population) second doses.

September was the month in which Costa Rica registered the most cases and deaths from COVID-19, with 68,459 and 880, respectively, but also the month with the most vaccines applied.

The week from Monday, October 3 to Sunday, October 9, there were 173 deaths associated with  COVID-19, down from 227 from the week of September 26 to October 2, the highest weekly figure so far in the pandemic.

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As of October 11, Costa Rica adds 546,595 accumulated cases and 6,698 deaths throughout the pandemic.


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