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Vaccination Against COVID-19 in Costa Rica for the Group of 18 to 58 Years Will Not Be Scheduled Yet

Written by Marisol

The National Commission for Vaccination and Epidemiology ruled out advancing the immunization process against COVID-19 to the third priority group, made up of people between 18 to 58 years with risk factors.

This group is the largest, as it is made up of 1,565,000 people nationwide with risk factors, including: diabetics, hypertensive people, people with obesity, heart disease, people with chronic respiratory problems and cancer patients, among others. The information was confirmed by Roberto Arroba, technical secretary of the Commission.

“When Group 2 is ready, we will start with Group 3,” Arroba said. On the matter he added “because it could be that in a health area of cantons where there are people over 58 who have not been vaccinated and younger people who have been vaccinated, that could create a certain level of confusion in the population”, affirmed Arroba. Currently, Group 1 and Group 2 are being vaccinated. These include first responders, public and private sector workers and people aged 58 years and over, respectively.

Two types of vaccines

Since this past Monday, the Costa Rican Social Security Fund began inoculation with the AstraZeneca drug. At the national level, vaccines against the novel Coronavirus are already being applied by two pharmaceutical companies; the first were from Pfizer / Biontech, which have been administered since the previous December 24th.

The first batch of 43,200 doses of AstraZeneca / Oxford, arrived the previous April 7th from the Covax mechanism of the World Health Organization. After multiple questions about the appearance of rare cases of blood clots, both the WHO and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommend its use.

More than a million Pfizer vaccines have arrived in the country. When Arroba was asked the reasons for this decision, since there are more vaccines available and the inoculation process could be reduced, he said that the aim is to have an order in the process of inoculation.

“The Commission defined having an order (to vaccinate only) Group 1 and Group 2. If tomorrow the Commission, based on a recommendation or a consultation from the Fund, deems viable, it could be given, but until today not before ending the process (of Group 1) Group’s 2 and 3 will start ”, pointed Arroba.

Essential to keep the appointment

The Minister of Health, Daniel Salas, reiterated that people who decide not to go to their vaccination appointments because the vaccine that will be supplied is that of AstraZeneca, will lose the opportunity to have a new appointment rescheduled to receive the one from Pfizer.

He defended that the AstraZeneca vaccine “continues to have one of the best profiles worldwide.” “It is very difficult that another vaccine can be offered to the person who eventually does not want to be vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine (…) The person would lose the opportunity, each case will be evaluated specifically,” said Salas.

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