The College of Physicians proposes to apply 150,000 doses per week; tighten vehicle restrictions

QCOSTARICA – The application of 150,000 doses per week of the covid-19 vaccine and the establishment of tighter vehicle restrictions temporarily, are the two main proposals from the College of Physicians and Surgeons to flatten the rising contagion curve.

Costa Rica has received 1,505,895 doses (19 shipments) of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine and 43,000 (1 shipment) from the COVAX facility since December 23, 2020, to date. Photo: Casa Presidencial.

The organization considers that this measure would not only ease the pressure on the health system, but also obtain collective immunity by the end of the year.

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“Vaccines are not a new problem for Costa Rica, we have been applying them for 50 years and historical data from the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) shows that in other vaccination campaigns they have had the capacity to vaccinate the population in a timely manner. », Explained Mauricio Guardia, president of the Colegio de Médicos y Cirujanos.

According to their estimates, the Caja received 60,000 doses per week, on average, and after five months, only just over a million people had been vaccinated. According to CCSS data as of May 10, 2021, a total of 1,093,931 people have received their vaccine, of which 657,301 received their first dose and 436,630 the second.

“Applying simple calculations, if we apply 150,000 vaccines per week, we could cover two and a half million people by December. This means that we would get the necessary coverage to reactivate all business activities in the country, ”added the doctor.

In his opinion, the Caja has all the necessary tools to achieve this efficiency in inoculation, since it has the infrastructure, the trained staff, the Edus system and the commitment of the workers.

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According to Guardia, he said, political will is needed to deliver the necessary doses and for the government to undertake the task “seriously of obtaining them”.

To speed up the process, doctors consider that there should be vaccinations every day, including Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., in all public access sites, for example parking lots. , trade associations and private business facilities.

In addition, it recommends dividing the doses according to the number of the population and the age of the people in each health zone.

It also offers to evaluate vaccination without appointment or insurance (currently citizens and legal residents do not need to be insured with La Caja, only registered in the health zone).

Vehicle restriction

To reduce the spread of the virus, the College of Physicians is also proposing to temporarily tighten the vehicle restriction, so that vehicles only run one day during the week and one of the two weekend days as following:

The proposal concerns vehicles with plates ending in:

  • 1 and 2 CAN run on Monday
  • 3 and 4 CAN run on Tuesdays
  • 5 and 6 CAN run on Wednesdays
  • 7 and 8 CAN run on Thursdays
  • 9 and 0 CAN run on Fridays
  • Same end (0, 2, 4, 6 and 8) CAN run on Saturday
  • Odd end (1, 3, 5, 7 and 9) CAN run on Sunday

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Currently cannot run one day during the week and one of the two days on weekends.

PCR tests

In addition, the College of Physicians and Surgeons proposes that a PCR test be applied to all foreigners entering the country, whether they arrive by air, land or sea.

“We are aware that tourism urgently needs to reactivate its activity, however, we are experiencing a reality of saturation in hospitals. For this reason, there is an urgent need to implement the PCR test requirement for tourists, which ensures that they will not end up recharging social security, ”added Guardia.

Read more: San Jose airport did rapid covid-19 tests for travelers

Vaccines

Up to one week, the country received 1,505,895 doses corresponding to 19 deliveries of Pfizer vaccine and a delivery of 43,000 doses of AstraZeneca, via the Covax mechanism.

Since mid-April, the Vaccination Commission has established that the vaccine reserve for the second dose will be reduced from three to one week in order to speed up the process.

Last Tuesday, the presidency announced the purchase of two million additional doses from Pfizer which will begin arriving in July, for a total of 9 million doses (6 million from Pfizer and the balance from AstraZeneca and the COVAX facility ).

In addition, President Carlos Alvarado has asked his American counterpart, Joe Biden, for a loan of vaccines to speed up the process.

Alvarado said in his third annual report to the legislature on May 4 that the country could obtain collective immunity by the end of the year.

Also AmCham – North American Chamber of Commerce of Costa Rica – has launched a petition to Joe Biden (US President) donate at least 1,500,000 Covid-19 vaccines to Costa Rica, which would speed up the vaccination process to achieve herd immunity, protect citizens and revive the Costa Rican economy.

Join the 17,451 people who have signed up so far. Sign the petition here.

To note; This report was updated at 6:51 am, with the news that a large number of 88,000 doses of the Astra Zeneca vaccine landed early this Friday morning at Juan Santamaria International Airport (San Jose). This is the second shipment of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the first was 43,000 doses.

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