QCOSTARICA – A pediatrician at the Hospital Nacional de Niños (HNN) – National Children’s Hospital – in San Jose, who refused to be vaccinated against covid-19, got infected and had contact with three children who are now isolated for prevention.
The deputy director of the hospital, Carlos Jiménez, confirmed the fact and said that the three children who had contact with a pediatrician tested negative and that, by protocol, they will continue in isolation for five days.
In addition, Jiménez clarified that the children will not undergo a new test to detect covid-19, unless one of them develops symptoms.
This case only was known this Tuesday, when Jiménez himself confirmed that the pediatrician refused to get the covid-19 vaccine, was positive for the virus on Saturday, and prior to the confirmation that she was infected, had contact with the children in the hospital.
Says before, one of the three minors had suspicious symptoms; however, tests revealed that it was a cold caused by a rhinovirus. On Wednesday, this minor and the other two were tested again and the results for covid-19 were negative.
On Tuesday, Olga Arguedas, director of the HNN, said that refusal of vaccines is a serious problem.
“The wrong decisions end up negatively impacting other people. Fortunately, in Costa Rica there are few, but we must fight with each one of them,” said the director.
The name of the pediatrician has not been made public.
Mandatory vaccination, but without penalties
On February 23, the Minister of Health, Daniel Salas, announced that the covid-19 vaccine would be mandatory for all personnel working in the health sector, both public and private.
The Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) is aware of the existence of this decree published March 11 in the official government newsletter, La Gaceta, but it is without any sanctions established to date.
“The fact of being vaccinated fulfills the Hippocratic oath, which demands ‘first do no harm’ from the personnel who treat covid patients who risk the lives of people and their own. This is necessary,” justified Salas, when he announced the mandatory nature of the vaccine for health center officials.
María Luisa Ávila, a child infectologist and former Minister of Health, also spoke about this case, saying it should be a lesson for all hospital workers who refuse to get the vaccine.
“It is unfortunate that health personnel are not vaccinated, not only against covid-19 but also against other diseases where they can be the source of infection for the patient.
“I think that vaccination does have to be mandatory, except for pregnant women and those with special conditions. This has to set a precedent so that people understand that if they are going to work in health they have to be vaccinated,” said the specialist.
The latest report given by the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) reveals 374 workers have refused vaccination.
To date, 19 health workers have died from causes related to covid-19.