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The tenth shipment arrived last night at the Juan Santamaría International Airport in a DHL flight with 84,240 doses of the treatment.
 - National Emergency Commission photo -

Costa Rica has imported 550,000-plus vaccines against covid-19

Published Wednesday, March 17, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Since the December purchase of vaccines against covid-19 from the pharmaceutical company Pfizer/BioNTech, so far 557,115 doses have arrived. The tenth shipment arrived last night at the Juan Santamaría International Airport in a DHL flight with 84,240 doses of the treatment.

In Oct. 2020, the government signed an agreement for the purchase of three million doses.

On Monday, President Carlos Alvarado confirmed the purchase of one million additional doses from Pfizer/BioNTech. Now, the country will receive 4 million doses to apply the treatment to two million people.

As of Tuesday, there are 17,879 people infected with covid-19 in the country, according to the Ministry of Health.

So far,  248, 082 doses have been applied. Reaching a national vaccination rate of 4.8 per 100 inhabitants, confirmed Social Security.

The country remains inoculating Group-A of High Risk, which includes elderly folks living in nursing homes, nursing home employees, healthcare workers, members of the police force, firefighters and National Commission Emergency workers, among others.
Vaccines have opened up to Group-B of High Risk, which includes people over the age of 58, regardless of whether or not they have any pre-existing health risk factors.

To receive the treatment, participants must have a Costa Rican ID or a residency ID, known as DIMEX specific for immigrants with resident status.

Since the beginning of the vaccination campaign against covid-19 in December 2020, there have been 1,653 cases of people suffering side effects from the Pfizer vaccine, informed the ministry on Friday.

According to the report, the cases were registered between Dec. 24, 2020 to Feb. 28, 2021, a period in which 150,000 doses of vaccines were applied.

Of the total number of patients in the same period, 1,608 cases have already been investigated, according to the data provided by the National Center for Pharmacy-Vigilance.

However, people with side effects represented only 0.67% of all people vaccinated against the virus, of which 73% are women and 42% men.

The reported side effects ranged from headaches, pain in the area vaccinated, fatigue, fever, chills, skin rash and muscle aches.

There has been one case of an allergic reaction that continues to be investigated. And three cases of unusual reactions.

One case of a patient who presented myocarditis (inflammation of the heart). This case was classified as probable given the potential relationship between the symptom and vaccine application.

The second patient reported phlebitis (inflammation of the veins) which was classified as possible, since it may be due to other factors or drugs consumed by the patient.

A Guillain-Barré syndrome was reported for the third case, which was classified as conditional, due to the pathologies presented by the patient that could trigger the condition.

Guillain-Barré syndrome, GBS, is a rapid-onset muscle weakness caused by the immune system damaging the peripheral nervous system. Typically, the initial symptoms are changes in sensation or pain often in the back along with muscle weakness, beginning in the feet and hands, often spreading to the arms and upper body.

The patients who presented myocarditis and phlebitis are fully recovered, however, the patient who presented Guillain-Barré is in stable health condition, authorities said.

How is the vaccination campaign against covid-19 advancing in your home country?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to

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