Half of Costa Rica has received a Covid-19 vaccine

In July, nearly 1 million doses were administered, a single-month record.

Costa Rica has reached a significant milestone: Half of its residents have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose.

“This is data that brings us hope,” said President Carlos Alvarado.

“Let us take advantage of the initiatives, extended hours and strategic alliances to vaccinate ourselves, and to bring our country closer to collective immunity. Costa Rica, together we can achieve it.”

The official tracker shows 3.42 million doses administered across 2.57 million people in Costa Rica. This represents 66.3 shots per 100 people — second-highest in Central America — in a country of about 5.1 million people.

In July, nearly 1 million doses were administered, a single-month record.

As the delta variant spreads in Costa Rica, Covid-19-related hospital admissions and deaths remain high. However, high vaccination rates among the elderly have helped to reduce severe illness in that population, as evidenced by the 10-year age reduction in the average ICU patient over the last four months.

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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.

The country hopes to vaccinate everyone ages 12 and older, comprising about 4.3 million people.

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