To receive the treatment, participants must have a Costa Rican ID for natives or a residency ID, known as DIMEX, for immigrants with resident status.
-  Social Security photo -

Published Monday, January 11, 2021

9,700-plus people vaccinated against
covid-19 in Costa Rica

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

According to the most updated Social Security report as of Thursday, 9,751 people in the country received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine against covid-19.

This first group of people vaccinated should apply the second dose 21 days after receiving the first one to achieve full immunization, representative of the Immunization Program, Leandra Abarca-Gómez said.

Of the total number of vaccinated people, 83% were given to health workers, 9.9% to elderly people living in nursing homes, 2.4% to nursing home staff and the rest to other workers who are at the front lines of the fight against the virus. Also included in this initial group are firefighters, policemen, and workers of the National Emergency Commission, the health authorities said.

Once the vaccination of the first group is completed in its entirety, the second at-risk group will begin getting their vaccine. This group includes people over the age of 58, regardless of whether or not they have any pre-existing health conditions. To receive the treatment, participants must have a Costa Rican ID for natives or a residency ID, known as DIMEX specific for immigrants with resident status.

Among the hospitals that have applied doses are the Children's Hospital with 1,067 doses, México with 999 doses and San Juan de Dios with 730 doses.

According to Social Security, the majority of people who have been infected with the virus are health workers. An 11% of health workers tested positive for covid-19.

Of those vaccinated, only 42 people have reported experiencing side effects attributable to the vaccination. Reports reveal that 38 cases were classified as low and 4 with moderate effects.

The most frequent symptoms people reported were headaches, fatigue, and body aches. All symptoms residing for hours and resolved on their own without clinical intervention, Social Security said in its statement.

Health authorities will continue to vaccinate people at the following hospitals, beginning today: Chacón-Paut, Monsignor Sanabria, Max Terán Valls, Tony Facio, Guápiles Hospital, Enrique Baltodano, Upala Hospital, La Anexión Hospital, San Carlos Hospital and Los Chiles Hospital.

Community clinics in the following towns are also kicking off their vaccination campaign today in Alajuela, Aserrí, Belén, Flores, Cartago, Ciudad Quesada, Curridabat, Escazú, Heredia, Cubujuquí, Heredia Virilla, Liberia, Naranjo, Nicoya, San Ramón, Santo Domingo, Tibás, Uruca, Merced and Upala.

So far, only Social Security is providing the vaccine, which means no private hospitals, clinics or labs are selling the coveted treatment against covid-19.

As of last Tuesday, 54,600 doses of the 3 million doses purchased from Pfizer for $36 million, have arrived in the country. Authorities expect the arrival of 154,050 doses before the end of January. That will allow 77,025 people to get two doses, which is equivalent to 1.5% of the country's population.

According to health authorities, it is estimated that the vaccination campaign against covid-19 will take a year to disperse among the country.

While the vaccination campaign advances, authorities from the Ministry of Health reported on Friday the most updated status of the covid-19 public health crisis in the country:

1,207 new covid-19 cases are reported to bring the total to 39,226 current active cases.

22,589 foreign-born people have been infected, totaling 177,614 cases since March, approximately 12.7% 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.

• 556 patients are being treated in public hospitals, where 223 patients are in ICU’s in delicate health conditions, these with ages range from 1 to 93-years-old. And 333 patients are in recovery rooms. Many of the remaining infected patients are quarantined in their homes.

• 136,083 coronavirus patients have fully recovered, a 76.6% recovery rate of the total cases since March.

522,113 covid-19 tests have been conducted in Costa Rica since March, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering of Johns Hopkins University in the United States.

2,305 deaths are listed as covid-19 related, approximately 1.3% death rate of the total cases since March. Of these are 867 women and 1,438 men. The ages range from a 2-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 Johns Hopkins University, the pandemic has killed more than 1.9 million people worldwide.

How should the authorities improve their speed for reaching their goal in the vaccination campaign against covid-19?   We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to


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