QCOSTARICA – When Costa Rica begins covid-19 vaccination of group 2, of those 58 years old and over, priority will be given to those aged 80 and over.
This was one of the announcements made Wednesday by Roberto Arroba Tijerino, technical secretary of the National Commission for Vaccination and Epidemiology (CNVE) and coordinator of immunizations for the Ministry of Health.
“Older people will be called first,” he said, without the decision implying discarding other parallel strategies to expand the application of doses to people in that group.
Leandra Abarca, coordinator of the Expanded Immunization Program of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) – Costa Rican Social Security Fund – commented that when the moment arrives, each person will be informed when to get vaccinated. Each health area has a plan.
This phase is scheduled to begin in the second trimester, but could occur earlier if vaccines are available.
“When we are with this second group, the health areas have access to the EDUS (electronic health file), to be able to draw the lists by the age of the patients and the contact information to be able to communicate with them,” Abarca explained.
The process is that people will be called by their local health center with a date and time. It will not be a mass vaccination, since all vaccines will not be available at the same time, stressed Abarca.
Abarca added that the CCSS has extensive knowledge of where the older and higher-risk adults and those who are bedridden are. “Many are given home visits. One of the strategies is to pick them up at home when appropriate,” she said.
Pregnant and breastfeeding
Breastfeeding women who are on the first line of vaccination against covid-19, will be able to receive the vaccine, as long as they sign a consent in which it is explained that there are still no studies for their population.
Vaccination in this group will begin next week, as the documents have to be sent so that the different vaccination centers have the information.
Pregnant women will not be able to get vaccinated, that is a contraindication.
“We rely on criteria from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Costa Rican College of Gynecology and Obstetrics … In the case of those (women) who are breastfeeding, they are offered whether or not they want to be vaccinated due to their high risk of infection, if they do not want to, there is no problem,” said Arroba.
“We have to wait for more studies to assess whether pregnant women can later be vaccinated,” he added.
Why is the sale of this vaccine not allowed in the private market? Deputy minister González was emphatic that there is no such prohibition.
“They must go through the usual registration process. At this time it is more because of the procedure and the policies of the companies. If any group is interested and has the security, it would be offered,” said González.
Abarca complements: “it must be remembered that the CCSS is the executing entity and responsible for what happens with storage, distribution and application.”
Arroba concludes: “If any pharmaceutical company is interested in giving this vaccine privately, they can send a request to the National Commission for Vaccination and Epidemiology and there they would address the issues of whether it is possible or not.”
The CNVE meets every week in an extraordinary way to analyze the logistics of vaccination and see if there is any type of adjustment or update that should be made