Costa Rica to mandate Covid-19 vaccine for many

Costa Rica will mandate the Covid-19 vaccine for all public-sector officials.

Costa Rica will mandate the Covid-19 vaccine for all public-sector officials, the Health Ministry announced today. Private sector companies can also legally mandate the vaccine for their employers.

The National Vaccination and Epidemiology Commission approved the mandatory status due to the following criteria:

  • The number of Covid-19 cases, including the increased circulation of the Delta variant.

  • The mortality of the disease and the high hospital occupancy, which are both impacted to a greater extent by patients who are not vaccinated.

  • The slowdown in vaccination rates.

  • The importance of maximizing safety in the workplace and reducing pandemic-related work interruptions.

The decree formalizing said mandate will be issued in the coming days, per the Health Ministry.

Costa Rica vaccine mandates are nothing new

Costa Rica has high non-Covid vaccination rates in large part because of existing mandates, and these are supported by law. Per Article 150 in the Ley General de Salud:

Vaccination and revaccination against communicable diseases determined by the Ministry is obligatory. Exceptional cases, for medical reasons, will be authorized only by the corresponding health authority.

Among the mandatory vaccines in Costa Rica are: measles, rubella and mumps (MMR); tuberculosis (BCG); Hepatitis B; influenza; tetanus and diphtheria (DTaP).

Inoculating children in accordance to national guidelines is “an obligation” for parents, according to the Child Welfare Office (PANI). In the most extreme cases, adults can be charged with child endangerment if they don’t adhere to the law.

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