Costa Rica opens vaccination to adults 20 and older

More Costa Rica citizens and residents are now eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine.

More Costa Rica citizens and residents are now eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine.

As of Wednesday, adults ages 20 and older can receive their first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine at a mass-vaccination site. No appointment is necessary.

“We are moving in the right direction toward herd immunity that will allow us to have the possibility of resuming our life that has been affected by the pandemic,” said President Carlos Alvarado.

While doses are not available to tourists and undocumented individuals at this time, that may soon change. President Alvarado announced this week that there is a “solution in progress” to expand vaccine access on the basis of human rights and in the public interest.

“The more people are vaccinated, the more our population will be protected,” President Alvarado said.

Who can get vaccinated in Costa Rica?

The following citizens and residents are eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine in Costa Rica:

  • Group 1: Staff and residents at retirement or nursing homes. First responders, including health personnel.

  • Group 2: Costa Rica’s older population, defined here as those ages 58 and up.

  • Group 3: People from 12-58 with risk factors, including hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, respiratory illness, kidney disease and obesity, among others.

  • Group 4: Teachers and other staff within the Education Ministry (MEP) or private schools. Imprisoned people and judicial staff. Workers for the 911 service.

  • Group 5: People ages 20-57 without any of the aforementioned risk factors. Some locations are vaccinating younger adults and teenagers, depending on the availability of doses.

Individuals should bring their identification document (cedula or DIMEX) in order to get vaccinated. The vaccine is free, even for those who don’t pay into the Caja.

Where to get vaccinated in Costa Rica

Each of Costa Rica’s hundreds of public clinics (EBAIS) manages vaccines within its area. Individuals who are eligible for a vaccine can contact their local EBAIS to schedule their first dose.

In addition, dozens of locations across Costa Rica are vaccinating all eligible people, no appointment necessary.

Costa Rica requires that individuals receive their second vaccine dose at the same location as their first. Pfizer doses have a 12-week interval in Costa Rica.

As of Tuesday, 2.35 million people in Costa Rica have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine shot. The country hopes to vaccinate everyone ages 12 and older, comprising about 4.3 million people.

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