Carlos Alvarado announces 3.5 million vaccines for children 5 to 11 years and older adults

The President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado, announced the acquisition of 3.5 million vaccines against covid-19 to children from 5 to 11 years old, as well as to reinforce with third doses to older adults and people with special conditions. Immunizations would be applied in 2022

A total of 1.5 million vaccines would go to children, while two million to third doses. These immunizations were acquired through a contract between the National Emergency Commission (CNE) and the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, Alvarado reported during a visit to the National Children’s Hospital.

The Deputy Minister of Health, Pedro González, explained that children would have a different dose than that applied to those over 12 years of age. This is a special dose that is equivalent to a fraction of that received by the rest of the population.

Last week, Pfizer reported that its Covid-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective in preventing symptomatic forms of the disease in children between the ages of 5 and 11.

Here the Ministry of Health was waiting for the results of global clinical trials on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine in children. Vaccination in Costa Rica of people under 12 years of age depended on this.

Of the more than 555,900 accumulated cases of covid-19 in Costa Rica, as of October 22, almost 60,000 correspond to minors. The The peak in the number of new cases and deaths in this population has been increasing in the last pandemic wave, especially from July, as it is normal for agents (disease-causing agents) to look for hosts (human beings, in this case) that are not protected.

Vaccinating children is essential to help build the population’s immunity against the disease. While younger children are less likely to develop severe cases of COVID-19, they can still become ill and transmit the virus to the rest of the population.

Associated with covid, multi-inflammatory syndrome of childhood (MIS-C) has been documented. In Costa Rica, 50 minors have had this syndrome, and the National Children’s Hospital registered the first death, in mid-October, of a girl aged 7 years and 11 months, without predisposing risk factors.

Of the almost 7,000 deaths related to covid-19 registered by the Ministry of Health, 23 are minors.

On the other hand, this Monday, October 25, the vaccination of adolescents aged 12 to 17 years began, regardless of whether or not they have risk factors. The Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) enabled the country’s vaccinations for young people, who were inoculated only in some health areas as part of a contingency plan, that is, when there were surplus immunizers and they could not be wasted.

The medical manager of the CCSS, Mario Ruiz Cubillo, assured that this new opening will allow reaching some 188,427 adolescents who had pending to start their protection scheme against covid-19.

Vaccination progress in the population aged 12 to 19 years is 64% for the first dose, and 27% for the second.

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