Thursday 1 June 2023

Meet one of the first Ticos vaccinated against COVID-19

"What I feel is like any other flu shot, pain in my arm," said the Costa Rican doctor living in the UK

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QCOSTARICA – Andrés Sandí became one of the first Costa Ricans to have received the COVID-19 vaccine in the United Kingdom on Tuesday.

Andrés Sandí, a Costa Rican doctor living in the United Kingdom

In an interview with, he said he had the opportunity to get vaccinated thanks to working as a nursing assistant at the Royal Surrey County Hospital, of the National Health System (NHS).

“I already had COVID-19 2 weeks ago. However, immunization is important, since there has been a lot of recontamination. I had not realized that I could be one of the first. It was really funny because we joked that I am the first (to get vaccinated), but I can’t say. I feel happy, since I hope it will be the last step to get out of this pandemic and return to normal life in a few months,” said the Costa Rican.

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Sandí and his wife have lived in the UK since February and affirms that they did not hesitate for a moment to get vaccinated. Fortunately, it is free for health personnel.

“I did not expect them to start the vaccination. However, at the end of the shift at the hospital, they asked us who wanted to get the vaccine and I felt the obligation to go. The process is obviously very orderly, in order to have a certain record of who it was applied to and who it was not,” explained the 39-year-old man.

Officials gave him a card that he must present on January 4, to receive the second dose. He claims that he has not felt symptoms.

“During the vaccination, one has to sign a consent and also one of the doctors explains the possible side effects that it could have and tells you about the possible allergic reaction and that if you have had previous reactions to other vaccines then they prefer not to have it,” he said.

“What I feel is like any other flu shot, pain in my arm. I have not yet completed 24 hours since the injection and so far I have not had side effects reported, such as an allergy reaction to the components of the vaccine. The vaccine as such does not hurt, the arm hurts later and can give other symptoms related to COVID-19,” said Sandí, who is a doctor by profession and is waiting for his credentials to be validated.

This Costa Rican recognizes that, as in many places, there is an expectation about the vaccine, but that most people want to be vaccinated.

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“There is everything, as in all countries: people who are willing to get the vaccine, like people who say they will never get it, but in general, I think the expectation is high and I think the vaccination campaign is going to be successful after some time and other countries are applying it as well,” he added.

Finally, he sent a message to all the people who have doubts or fear about the vaccine:

What I would say to any of my patients when I was working as a doctor in Costa Rica, vaccines are necessary to control many diseases, it is one of the ways that science has found to strengthen the immune system and this is no exception, so both should be a priority, as is getting vaccinated from babies.

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"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

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