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People Over 58 and Those with Risk Factors Will Be the First to Receive the COVID-19 Vaccine

The National Commission for Vaccination and Epidemiology has established the risk criteria for the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine. Risk factors and chances of infecting others have been taken into consideration to establish the list of who

The National Commission for Vaccination and Epidemiology has established the risk criteria for the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine. Risk factors and chances of infecting others have been taken into consideration to establish the list of who be amongst the first to receive the vaccine.

Consequently, the elderly who live in assisted homes (describes as long-stay centers) and those who work in these places, as well as Health, Police, and emergency personnel will be the first to receive the vaccine.

This group of front-line workers is made up of CCSS workers, the personnel of the Ministry of Health, people who work in private hospitals, the National Emergency Commission, and Firefighters, Red Cross personnel, and the police forces of Security, Transportation, Immigration, penitentiaries, municipalities, and OIJ. Once the first group’s vaccination has been completely finished, authorities will continue with the second group.

The second group is made up of people 58 years of age or older, regardless of whether or not they have any risk factors. People will be required to present their national ID card known as cedula or foreigners ID card known as DIMEX (commonly referred to as cedula within the expat community).

The third group comprises people between the ages of 18 and 58 years old who present some risk factors such as: people with hypertension, diabetics, those with heart disease, chronic respiratory disease, chronic kidney disease, obesity grade III, the morbidly obese, cancer patients.

The fourth group includes the personnel of the Ministry of Public Education, as well as the personnel of the private education sector and the staff of the comprehensive care centers (CAI) and shelters of the PANI (Patronato Nacional de la Infancia, in charge of children). In the same way, prisoners, and the 9-1-1 Emergency System personnel are included in this group.

The last group is made up of students of health sciences and related technicians in clinical fields of the CCSS, as well as the population aged 40 to 57 who do not have any of the risks previously described but who, due to their work, have regular contact with people or impact on the productive sector, such as agriculture, construction, customer service, restaurants, domestic workers, among others.

The Minister of Health, Daniel Salas, indicated that the start and end dates of vaccination for each group will depend on the pharmaceutical companies’ delivery schedule for the vaccines. The Minister stated that the vaccination of three million people through 2021 should protect 80% of the population (excluding minors, pregnant women, or in a period of lactation since there is no vaccine for them).

Mr. Salas also emphasized that both the Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccines require two doses, separated by 21 days in the first case and 28 days in the second. The population must understand that to achieve immunity it is necessary to complete the two-dose schedule and that 15 days must pass after the second dose to develop antibodies.

On the other hand, Roberto Arroba, Coordinator of Immunizations of the Ministry of Health and secretary of the National Commission for Vaccination and Epidemiology, indicated that people who have overcome COVID-19 can receive the vaccine 90 days after having recovered from the disease as long as they meet the risk criteria mentioned above.

Costa Rica has already approved and coordinated the importation of the Pfizer vaccine. Health Teams are now waiting for the product to be delivered in order to start the vaccination campaign.

Original article: Casa Presidencial.

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    Jellie December 19, 2020

    This is wonderful news for CR. Here in San Francisco vaccinations are given first to all Frontline and healthcare workers, then teachers/support staff/custodial and onto congruent situations: convalescent/elderly/incarcerated/agricultural worker and so on. We will continue to wear masks for years.

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