COSTA RICA NEWS – Following the World Health Organization (WHO) research establishing the most common types of virus strains in our country, local Health authorities have decided to make a change in the type of annual influenza vaccine, based on studies on seasonality and epidemiology to support the change.
Although Costa Rica is at the centre of the continent, it is north of the Equator, that imaginary horizontal line at 0º degrees latitude at the centre of the earth, divides the earth into the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Therefore (with some exceptions) all countries north of the Equator are in the Northern Hemisphere, while all countries south of the Equator are in the Southern Hemisphere.
According to the Coordinador Nacional de Inmunizaciones del Ministerio de Salud (National Immunization Coordinator, of the Ministry of Health), Dr. Roberto Arroba, said “(…) studies have determined that we should be applying vaccines of the south rather than the north, and change the application period from October-November and to March-April.”
Dr. Arroba added that the pharmaceutical companies have already been notified that the country will be applying the south vaccine, and that the vaccination period will now be in the months of April-May.
For the last vaccination campaign, the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) – social security – invested US$800 million dollars to purchase 450.000 doses aimed at the population most at risk, ie. infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly and health officials.
The doses are purchased directly from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
Sources: CRHoy; WHO; CCSS