QCOSTARICA – Doña Elizabeth Castillo Cervantes, 91 years old, and Don Jorge De Ford Almetlla, 72 years old, both from the Fundación Persona Adult Mayor, Propam, in San Ramón de La Unión de Tres Ríos, are the first people in Costa Rica to receive the Covid vaccine -19.
In addition to them, the 22 people who also reside in long-term stay for seniors were vaccinated.
Thirty minutes later, internist, José Acuña, and nurse, Tatiana Sancho, at the Specialized Center for the Care of Patients with Covid-19 (Ceaco), were the first two health officials to be vaccinated.
The start of vaccination on Thursday, December 24 was symbolic, after the arrival of the first 9,750 doses in the country Wednesday night, part of an existing purchase agreement between Costa Rica and Pfizer / BioNtec to supply a total of 3 million doses.
Next week another 11,700 doses are expected to arrive, with the rest arriving gradually over the next few months.
The extended vaccination program will commence on Monday, December 28, beginning with the first priority group.
From this moment on, the country will receive more doses each week to expand coverage. “This is the beginning of the end,” said Costa Rica President Carlos Alvarado, who in turn asks the population not to lower their guard in terms of the use of masks, social distancing and hand washing.
The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) – Costa Rican Social Security Fund – indicated that the entire vaccination process will take 11 months, that is, it is expected to conclude in November 2021.
The executive president of the CCSS, Román Macaya, explained that as the doses arrive, it is expected to contact the people who make up the different priority groups for vaccination and asked people not to go to the health centers until they are first contacted.
“This is a historic moment for the Costa Rican Social Security because with the arrival of these vaccines, we not only became one of the first countries in the continent to start immunizing our risk groups, but we are also providing the population with an additional tool to reduce the chances of contagion from Covid-19,” said Macaya.
Costa Rica is the first country in Central America and second to Mexico in Latin America to start vaccination for the covid-19.
Costa Rica has signed agreements to acquire a total of six million doses to vaccinate three million people, this represents more than 60% of the population and more than 80% of the people who can receive the dose, taking into account that it will not apply to minors, pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding.
Vaccination is not mandatory.
El primer lote de 9.750 dosis de la vacuna contra la #COVIDー19 llegó a nuestro país procedente desde Bélgica. Primeras vacunaciones se realizarán el 24 de diciembre en un centro de larga estancia de personas adultas mayores y en CEACO. pic.twitter.com/lqfAXq0BEy
— CNE Costa Rica (@CNECostaRica) December 24, 2020
“Without a doubt, vaccines are a safe and effective way to prevent disease and save lives and positively impact the public health of nations because when we get vaccinated we not only protect ourselves but also those around us.
“Each person who is vaccinated against Covid-19 not only contributes to their own health, but is also helping to reduce the circulation of this disease in our country,” said the head of the Expanded Immunization Program of the Fund, Dr. Leandra Abarca.