Covid: Costa Rica becomes first country to make vaccination mandatory for children

The Central American country, Costa Rica, became the first country to make the coronavirus vaccine mandatory for children.

Making a statement on the subject, Health Minister Daniel Salas said that the coronavirus vaccine will be included in the list of basic childhood vaccines in the country.

Costa Rica has also signed an agreement with Pfizer to obtain sufficient doses of vaccine to vaccinate all children under the age of 12 by March 2022.

Earlier this week, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also approved the coronavirus vaccine for children aged 5-11. With this approval, 28 million children in the country were vaccinated. With this decision, children are given one-third of the vaccine dose administered in adults.

In the statement made by the FDA, it was stated that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was more than 95 percent effective in preventing Covid-19 cases showing symptoms in the 5-11 age group.

In the US, the vaccine program for 12-year-olds began in June, after the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was approved in May.

Despite the infection, the majority of children are less likely to develop a serious illness. However, children who do not show symptoms can still be contagious. Therefore, with the vaccine, it is possible to prevent the contagiousness of the virus.

Costa Rica’s agreement with Pfizer includes 3.5 million doses of the vaccine. 1.5 million doses of this will be administered to children aged 5-11 years. The remaining vaccines will be given as a booster dose to people with low immunity or older age.

According to Our World in Data, 55 percent of the population eligible to be vaccinated in Costa Rica to date have been fully vaccinated.

Health officials stated that more than 70 percent of the population between the ages of 12-19 received at least one dose of the vaccine.