The covid-19 vaccination program will be running for the rest of this week and through 2021.
- Social Security photos -

Published Monday, December 28, 2020

700-plus people expecting
covid-19 vaccine this week

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

In the public clinic of the Carmen Montes de Oca District, in San José Province, the process of vaccinating more than 750 people against covid-19 begins this week, as reported by Gonzalo Zúñiga-Mendoza, director of the clinic.

According to Mendoza, the Social Security community health centers known as Ebais, have been working on the logistics prepping for the much anticipated vaccines against covid-19, which includes establishing the number of doses applied during the week to the already selected population. Health authorities decided on who was the first set of people to get vaccinated.

A group of selected people belonging to the Carmen Montes de Oca community, where 350 elderly living in four corresponding nursing homes will be getting vaccinated this week. Also, 400 health workers in that area will receive the vaccine.

The vaccination plan will continue with staff from the Red Cross, police officers and the rest of the people who are part of the so-called “Group A.”

Due to the high importance of being protected against covid-19, which has caused more than two thousand people's deaths in the country, many people are anxious to receive the vaccine. However, the vaccination process in the country will not be done quickly or massively.

According to Mendoza, people should wait for representatives of the public clinics in their district or canton to call them to schedule the day they will be vaccinated. Avoid overwhelming health services. "People shouldn’t crowd the health services or the central phone line asking about the vaccine, what they should do is to wait for us to tell them in which risk group they should be attended and when they should be vaccinated,” Mendoza said.

The covid-19 vaccination program will be running for the rest of this week and through 2021.

There are five selected groups set to receive the highly expected vaccine against covid-19, but participants must wait to be contacted or receive some type of communication from their local community clinic.

"We need to support people to come when the date and place are set, then the vaccination process will be controlled and in order," Leandra Abarca, coordinator of the Expanded Program of Immunizations of Social Security said. "There will be enough vaccines for all risk groups."

In all the community clinics in the country, the vaccination campaign will be developed mainly during 2021 because they will receive the vaccines gradually, and then they will inform the public of the specific day to receive the vaccine. Each person will receive two doses at 21 days apart.

Last week, the vaccination process against covid-19 began symbolically with 55 people. Of these, the first two people to receive the vaccine were Elizabeth Castillo-Cervantes, 91, and Jorge De-Ford- Atmella, 72, who live in a nursery home. The vaccinations continued on 33 people who are the rest of the elders and workers of the same clinic. The  other 20 people who were vaccinated last week, were health workers from the so-called Covid Hospital.

According to the government, priority depends on the level of exposure the person has to being infected with the virus.

This way, the elderly who live in nursing homes, the nursing home workers, health workers, and the police force, will be the first to receive the vaccine.

The second set of people selected to get vaccines are those 58-years-old or older, regardless of whether or not they have any risk factors.

A third group of the population that will receive the vaccine are people between the ages of 18 and 58 who present certain risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, chronic respiratory disease, chronic kidney disease, obesity and cancer.

A fourth group of the population that will receive the vaccine are employees from the Ministry of Public Education, the workers of the private education system, the workers of children's shelters and the workers and prisoners of the penitentiary system.

The last group to be vaccinated will be health science students, technicians who work at Social Security and people between the ages of 40 and 57. Also, those who carry out work activities related to contact with people or whose activity is of great importance for the productive sector of the country.

While the population waits to be called to receive the vaccine against covid-19, health authorities continue to report a fast increase in deaths caused by the virus, according to the updated statistics provided by the Ministry of Health on Friday as follow:

1,048 new covid-19 cases are reported to bring the total to 32,062 current active cases.

21,573 foreign-born people have been infected, totaling 162,990 cases since March, approximately 13.2% of the total cases. Of these, authorities confirmed the death of 32 foreign-born patients. But since October, there is no updated information about foreign-born deaths due to covid-19.

• 594 patients are being treated in public hospitals, where 228 patients are in ICU’s in delicate health conditions (ages range from 1 to 90-years-old). And 366 patients are in recovery rooms. Many of the remaining infected patients are quarantined in their homes.

• 128,842 coronavirus patients have fully recovered, which is a 79.4% recovery rate of the total cases since March.

475,338 covid-19 tests have been performed in Costa Rica since March, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering of Johns Hopkins University in the United States.

2,086 deaths are listed as covid-19 related, approximately 1.3% death rate of the total cases since March. Of these are 786 women and 1,300 men. The ages range from a 9-year-old to a 101-year-old.

Readers can see the updated number of total patients in each district at the National Distance Education University on its Covid-19 Map.

According to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering, CSSE, at Johns Hopkins University, the pandemic has killed 1,764,863 people worldwide.

How should health authorities speed up the vaccination campaign against covid-19?   We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to


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