Saturday 9 December 2023

Vaccination against covid-19 will be mandatory for minors in Costa Rica

National Vaccination and Epidemiology Commission made a decision based on the General Health Law, the Childhood and Adolescence Code

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QCOSTARICA – Vaccination against covid-19 will be mandatory for all minors in Costa Rica, according to the provision announced this Friday morning by the Comisión Nacional de Vacunación y Epidemiología (CNVE) – National Vaccination and Epidemiology Commission.

73% of the population between 12 and 19 years old already have at least one dose of vaccine against covid-19. 

The decision, indicated by the Ministry of Health in a press release, is covered by the Ley General de Salud, el Código de la Niñez y la Adolescencia (General Health Law, the Code of Childhood and Adolescence), and is made in safeguarding the principle of the best interests of the child.

“Parents or legal representatives have the responsibility that the compulsory vaccination of minors is carried out in a timely manner,” the statement cited.

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In Costa Rica, the vaccines included in the basic table established by the CNVE are mandatory for minors, including drugs against chickenpox, polio, more recently against the Human Papilloma Virus incorporated in 2017 and last March immunization against covid-19 was included.

Data from the Ministry of Health indicate that, from the beginning of the pandemic until Thursday, November 4, 61,118 cases have been reported in minors (those under the age of 18), of which 24 minors have died.

This Thursday, the National Children’s Hospital (HNN) reported admission of 17 minors, two of them in intensive care.

According to information from the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) as of November 1, 73% of the population between 12 and 19 years old already have at least one dose and 36.1% have both.

Since last October 25, the administration of first doses was resumed in ages 12 to 17 years, receiving the Pfizer vaccine, the only one authorized for emergency use at these ages.

Another agreement taken by the CNVE is that the population over 15 years of age can be inoculated without the need to be accompanied by an adult, always with the respective assessment of each case.

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Children between 5 and 11 years old

At this time there are no vaccines available for people under 12 years of age. For those between 5 and 11 years old, the government has made the purchase of 1.5 million vaccines, to protect 750,000 children, for delivery in early 2022.

Last Friday, October 29, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the authorization for the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 to include children 5 through 11 years of age.

As in adults and adolescents, this vaccine consists of two doses that are applied 21 days apart. It is the same formula, but its amount is only one third: adults and adolescents are injected with 30 micrograms and children 10.

Pfizer and BioNTech also develop a product for even younger children: there is a clinical trial group with children ranging from 0 to 24 months and another from 2 to 5 years. The latter is the one that is the most advanced.

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In a previous interview with La Nación, Rodrigo Sini, director of Vaccine Medical Affairs for Latin America at Pfizer, stated that they would have the first results of their trial at the end of the year and that they would then submit them to the FDA for review.


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