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 Friday, January 8, 2021

Covid-19 vaccination campaign
begins in Puntarenas

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Thursday kicked-off the vaccination campaign against covid-19 at the Monseñor Sanabria Hospital in Puntarenas Province.

According to Randall Álvarez-Juárez, Monseñor Sanabria Hospital director, the first people to be vaccinated are those who have been included in the already selected group, previously established by the health authorities.

In this first phase of the vaccinations, the vaccine will be injected into 500 hospital workers, giving priority to people who work in direct contact with covid-19 patients. This pre-selected group also includes the elderly who live in nursing homes, nursing home employees, health workers, members of the police force, firefighters and National Commission Emergency workers.
Once the vaccination of the first group is completed in its entirety, the second risk group will begin getting their vaccine. This group includes people over the age of 58, regardless of whether or not they have any risk factors.

Community clinics are next in line to receive the much anticipated doses of the vaccine scheduled for arrival next Monday. 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.

In rural zones, more public hospitals will continue to disperse the vaccination, such as San Rafael, Francisco de Asís and Carlos Luis Valverde Vega in Alajuela Province. Max Peralta and William Allen in Cartago Province. In the case of Heredia Province, the vaccination is being carried out at San Vicente de Paul Hospital.

As of 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 the health authorities, the vaccines must be kept in cold storage at a requirement of -70 degrees Celsius (approximately -94 degrees Fahrenheit).

Social Security with the collaboration of the Technological University and the University of Costa Rica, has a storage capacity for 239,000 doses, which is not enough space for storing the expected amount of vaccines.

The National Emergency Commission purchased 14 freezers, which will arrive in the country in February, with which 838,000 doses can be stored.

While the vaccination campaign advances, authorities from the Ministry of Health reported on Thursday the most updated statistics of the virus development in the country:

1,369 new covid-19 cases are reported to bring the total to 38,646 current active cases.

22,507 foreign-born people have been infected, totaling 176,407 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.

• 566 patients are being treated in public hospitals, where 231 patients are in ICU’s in delicate health conditions (ages range from 20 to 93-years-old). And 335 patients are in recovery rooms. Many of the remaining infected patients are quarantined in their homes.

• 135,475 coronavirus patients have fully recovered, a 76.8% recovery rate of the total cases since March.

513,929 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.

2,286 deaths are listed as covid-19 related, approximately 1.3% death rate of the total cases since March. Of these are 860 women and 1,426 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 speed the vaccination campaign against covid-19?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to


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