Costa Rica expects to finish vaccination of children in the first semester

The Costa Rican authorities reported this Wednesday that they hope to finish the vaccination against covid-19 in children under 12 years of age during the first half of the year, although they are making efforts to obtain additional doses to speed up the process.

"The Government has purchased vaccines for the entire population aged 5 to 11 years. They will arrive gradually during the first semester, they will arrive weekly, but steps are being taken to obtain additional doses to accelerate vaccination"said the Vice Minister of Health, Pedro González.

Last year Costa Rica signed a contract with the pharmaceutical company Pfizer for the purchase of 1.5 million pediatric doses, of which 48,000 have arrived in the country in a first batch delivered last week.

On Monday authorities began vaccinating children under the age of 12. The process began with 11-year-old children and minors of any age with high risk factors such as cancer, heart disease, cerebral palsy, myelomeningocele, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, severe asthma, and oxygen-dependent people. among others. .

When that population is finished, it will continue with children of 10 years and so gradually in descending age.

On November 5, the health authorities of Costa Rica established the vaccine against covid-19 as mandatory for those under 18 years of age.

The National Commission for Vaccination and Epidemiology (CNVE) reported that it made this decision based on the General Health Law, the Childhood and Adolescence Code, as well as "in safeguarding the principle of the best interests of the boy, girl and adolescent" and because this vaccine is already part of the country’s official scheme.

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The vaccines included in the basic chart of Costa Rica are mandatory for minors, including those against chickenpox, polio, the Human Papilloma Virus and more recently the anticovid-19 doses.

Parents who do not allow their children to be vaccinated expose themselves to legal process.

Vaccination in children under 12 years of age began a little over a month after the start of the 2022 school year on February 17 in a totally face-to-face way and in the midst of the fourth wave of infections that is growing exponentially in recent weeks due to to the omicron variant, detected in the country on December 19 last.

Until January 10, Costa Rica has applied 8,016,478 doses of the vaccine in the population over 12 years of age. Coverage with first doses in this sector of the population reaches 92.8%; 84% in second doses and 10.8% in third doses.

The third doses apply only to first responders and people over 58 years of age.

This country of 5.1 million inhabitants has 595,795 cases of covid-19 and 7,386 deaths.


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