Friday 29 September 2023

Vaccination against covid-19 will be mandatory for public employees

There are around 320,000 public sector workers in the country. In the private sector, employers may also require mandatory vaccination in their work centers.

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QCOSTARICA – Vaccination against covid-19 will be mandatory for all public employees, confirmed this afternoon the Minister of Health, Daniel Salas, ordered by the National Commission for Vaccination and Epidemiology (CNVE).

Health authorities is forcing all public employees to inoculate themselves to reduce the number of Costa Ricans without protection against covid-19

“It will be the employer’s responsibility to take the corresponding measures in accordance with the country’s legislation and institutional regulations, in the case of workers who do not want to be vaccinated against covid-19. The decree that formalizes said obligation of the vaccine against covid-19 will be issued and signed in the coming days,” the Ministry said in a statement.

As to the private sector, it will be up to employers.

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The Ministry of Health explained that the measure was also extended to those private-sector employees whose employers, within their internal labor regulations, have chosen to incorporate said vaccination as mandatory in their work centers.

“The Commission (CNVE) made the decision based on epidemiological variables such as the number of covid-19 cases, the mortality of the disease, the increased circulation of the Delta variant and the high hospital occupancy, impacted to a greater extent by patients who are not vaccinated, as well as the slowdown in the influx of people to the vaccination centers to receive their first dose.

“To these factors are added the importance of promoting that public and private work centers are safer places and the need to reduce the possibilities of interruption of services and work in work centers as a result of possible infections,” said the Government.

There are around 320,000 public sector workers in the country, in both the central government and autonomous agencies.

Until now, protection against covid-19 was required only for health personnel who care for patients in institutions such as the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS), the Ministry of Health and the Instituto Nacional de Seguros (INS).

The CNVE’s decision transcends a day after the University of Costa Rica (UCR) ordered vaccination for all officials of its institution and the Technological Institute of Costa Rica (Tec) announced that it will follow the same path.

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Previously, the Directorate of Legal Affairs of the Ministry of Labor (MTSS) issued a criterion in which it indicated that the only possibility to demand the doses from all workers in the country is if the CNVE decides to establish the mandatory nature of inoculation for all the national population.

Since October last year, the Constitutional Court supported the CNVE’s decision to establish inoculation against the coronavirus as an obligation for health personnel.

“The disposition taken is suitable,” indicated the magistrates. In fact, the CCSS has already opened administrative procedures to 35 workers who rejected the doses.

Last week, the Court issued 13 rulings ratifying the constitutionality of the mandatory vaccine for the population as determined by the Commission.

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Read more: Constitutional Court confirms constitutionality of mandatory vaccination


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