Regarding the doubts about the access to the vaccine against covid-19 for immigrants, who are in the country under the category of Tourism Visa,
authorities clarify that the vaccine will only be applied for free to immigrants with legal residency status and listed in one
of the five pre-established groups of the vaccination campaign. - Social Security photo -































Published Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Vaccination against covid-19
advances in rural zones

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

With the arrival to the country of more doses of vaccine against covid-19, purchased from the companies Pfizer and BioNTech, several public health centers will advance on the immunization campaign.

According to Leandra Abarca, coordinator of the Social Security Vaccination Program, vaccines will be distributed in public hospitals and public community clinics, to start with the people who were included in the first risk group, previously established by the health authorities. The elderly who live in nursing homes, the nursing home workers, health workers, and the police force, are listed in the first group of people to receive the vaccine.

During this week, the 18 public clinics that are carrying out the vaccinations are located in the districts of Montes de Oca, Goicoechea, Pavas, Hatillo, Mata Redonda, Zapote, Alajuelita, Desamparados, Moravia and Coronado, these in San José Province.

Also, public hospitals such as the Covid Hospital, San Juan de Dios, Geriatric Hospital, Calderón Guardia, Children's Hospital, México, Psychiatric hospital, and Women Hospital, all in San José Province will carry the vaccine.

In rural zones of the country, authorities will begin vaccination as of Jan. 11, meanwhile the country has received another vaccines shipment of approximately 33,000 doses.

These public hospitals will continue to disperse the vaccination are 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 the San Vicente de Paul Hospital.

Social Security has set a goal of delivering vaccinations to all hospitals and public medical centers in the country by the last week of January, as new shipments of vaccines enter the country.

Vaccine arrivals are scheduled weekly until the purchase made by the country is completed. But that depends on the volume of doses that the companies Pfizer and BioNTech can supply to each country, Social Security said in its statement.

On Sunday, health authorities reported having vaccinated 2,455 Costa Ricans. Of these, 26% belong to the group of elderly residents in nursing homes, 4% are workers in nursing homes, 68% are Social Security workers. The rest are health workers from private clinics and hospitals, as well as workers from other organizations such as the Ministry of Security, the Red Cross, among others.

Regarding the doubts about the access to the vaccine against covid-19 for immigrants, who are in the country under the category of Tourism Visa, authorities clarify that the vaccine will only be applied for free to immigrants with legal residency status and listed in one of the five pre-established groups of the vaccination campaign.

This means that immigrants with legal tourist status must purchase the vaccine against covid-19 in their country of origin, or go to a private clinic or hospital when the vaccine becomes accessible in those places. So far, the vaccine is being distributed to the public health organizations of each country because it is a public health concern.

Although there have been questions and concerns about the vaccines, it has proven successful aside from two reported cases of side effects.

The first case was a woman who had a headache and an allergic reaction with a skin rash on her chest and head. She is an employee of the Children's Hospital. In her medical record, there is a reference to having reacted to other vaccines such as the flu vaccine.

The second case is from another woman, who works in a community clinic. She presented inflammation in the area of ​​her arm where the vaccine was applied.

Both women recovered quickly and are no longer present with those symptoms, Social Security said.

According to specialists, adverse reactions associated with the application of the vaccine against covid-19 are expected to happen in a very low percentage of the population. The most frequent symptoms reported internationally are fever, headaches and swelling.

While advancing the vaccination campaign against covid-19, the Ministry of Health reported on Monday a fast increase in more deaths related to the virus. The most updated statistics are:

717 new covid-19 cases are reported to bring the total to 37,291 current active cases.

22,217 foreign-born people have been infected, totaling 172,436 cases since March, approximately 12.8% 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.

• 604 patients are being treated in public hospitals, where 256 patients are in ICU’s in delicate health conditions (ages range from 1 to 91-years-old). And 348 patients are in recovery rooms. Many of the remaining infected patients are quarantined in their homes.

• 132,916 coronavirus patients have fully recovered, a 77% recovery rate of the total cases since March.

506,685 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.

2,229 deaths are listed as covid-19 related, approximately 1.3% death rate of the total cases since March. Of these are 839 women and 1,390 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 1.8 million people worldwide.

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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 news@amcostarica.com


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