Nicoya, COVID-19

Nicoya Health Area conducts mass COVID-19 vaccination days throughout the canton

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Translator: Arianna Hernandez

The Nicoya Health Area is holding mass COVID-19 vaccination days in different parts of the canton this week and next week. By doing this, they will try to administer at least the first dose to 80% of the Nicoyan population over 58 years of age, according to Sully Arias, the head of nursing for the Nicoya Health Area.

The plan involves administering around 300 vaccines each day in communities like Nosara, Mansion, Caimital, Santa Ana and San Joaquin.

Health personnel began the intensive vaccination days last Tuesday, May 4, in Mansion. They will visit a different town in the canton every day during the two-week long program.

The Health Area’s goal is to move on to the next priority group for vaccination (people under 58 with chronic diseases) in May, as ordered by the Ministry of Health on April 28.

As of the week of May 3 to 7, Nicoya reported a vaccination rate of 38.2 per 100 inhabitants over 58 years of age, according to data provided by the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS). Arias said that this figure will increase as the mass vaccination days progress.

The Health Area currently sends between 18 and 24 doses per day to all health centers in the canton because most of the EBAIS clinics don’t meet the necessary requirements to receive a larger number of vaccines on a weekly basis. Local authorities explained that this has slowed down the process.

How can I participate in these vaccination days?

Although these are mass sessions, the Health Area will make phone calls to the Nicoyans who will be vaccinated.

That’s why people who might qualify need to make sure that all of their information is updated in the Unique Digital Health Record (EDUS– Expediente Digital Único en Salud) platform. If they don’t have all of the information up to date, patients (or their relatives) should contact the EBAIS where they are registered to update their info. This can be done after 1 p.m. from Monday to Friday.

You need to have your current address on file and provide a telephone number where you can be contacted at any time. Calls regarding vaccinations can be made at any time. Although CCSS officials might go to patients’ homes to schedule their appointments, if the address isn’t up to date either and the patient can’t be contacted, they’ll move on to the next beneficiary.

For these [vaccination] days, one of our main concerns is that people don’t answer the phone. It’s very hard for us because people don’t answer and we can’t tell them about the appointment,” said the head of nursing.

What should I take into account for these days?

Health officials will hold sessions in churches, community halls and auditoriums located in central areas within the towns that they will visit. That way, patients won’t miss their appointments because of getting the location confused or other technical aspects.

Patients can be accompanied by a family member and can request to see the vaccine syringe before and after being inoculated. That way, they can be sure that the vaccine is being administered well.

Arias would like to remind people that if they aren’t called by a Health official, they can’t go to the vaccination session hoping that there will be an extra dose available. “Without an appointment, there is no vaccine,” she emphasized.

In addition, if someone has already received one dose, he or she should pay attention to the next appointment to be fully protected from the virus.

The head nurse explained that if people have doubts about when they will be vaccinated, they can call 2685-4274 or ask at the EBAIS that they are assigned to.