Costa Rica Imposes Mandatory H1N1
Swine Flu Vaccine: Will Use Force if Necessary
The vaccine is being purchased by the Caja Costarricense de Seguro
Social (CCSS) from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
and being administered to all Costa Ricans.
The shipment of almost 200.000 doses arrived last week is part
of Costa Rica's order for 1.6 million doses, which are expected
to arrive in the coming months.
Ministra Ávila said that the vaccine is mandatory.
Those identified in the high risk group - pregnant women, diabetics,
patients with asthma, hyper tension, the obese and those working
in the health care field - will be the first to be vaccinated.
To show faith in the vaccine, Dr. Ávila got her shot in
front of the cameras, saying it is important to be protected as
she visits local hospitals, clinics and patients on a regular
Eduardo Doryan, president of the CCSS, said the focus of the
vaccination will be in areas where there have been more cases
of the AH1N1 and then will move to all other areas.
The vice-ministra de Salud, Ana Morice, explained that the CCSS
will be compiling a list from medical records of persons that
are required to be vaccinated, especially in the Metropolitan
(San José) area.
Morice said those people will be notified by telephone, by the
news media and by door-to-door visits by Salud officials where
there is an address on file.
"The vaccination is mandatory. It is important that the
population go to the clinics. We will first make call to those
who are to be vaccinated, then we will go looking for them if
they do not come in", said Morice.
The vice-ministra said that those people on the list who do not
want to receive the vaccine, will be obligated to do so. "The
idea is not use force, even though we have the right to go with
the police to pull people from their homes and take them to a
medical centre to be vaccinated", explained Morice.
The mandatory vaccination is based on government decree 35703-S
of the Ley General de Salud published on January 21, 2010 in the
official government publication, La Gaceta.
Morice explained that the only exceptions to the vaccination
are those allergic to eggs and mercury, because the effects of
the dose against AH1N1 may be worse. Also, those who have been
infected will no be vaccinated as the possibility of re-infection
is only 5%.
The vaccine is not being sold in pharmacies and is only available
at CCSS hospitals and clinics known as Ebais and applied by Salud
Dr. Ávila said that the vaccine may have some side effects
like reddening and swelling of the area where the vaccine is applied,
but will disappear within 24 hours.
January 29, 2010