Costa Rican government unveils COVID-19 vaccination campaign for migrants

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By Alvaro Murillo

SAN JOSE, Oct. 8 (Reuters) – Costa Rica on Friday launched a COVID-19 vaccination campaign targeting migrants regardless of their legal status in the Central American country, President Carlos Alvarado said.

Foreigners, who represent around 9% of the population, have so far encountered difficulties getting vaccinated as many do not have social security or residence papers.

“Over the next seven days we will have special vaccination events for people without legal status,” he said during a visit to a vaccination center. “We will overcome the pandemic when the entire population is vaccinated. “

The government of Costa Rica has earmarked 250,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine for the campaign, said Pedro Gonzalez, deputy health minister. It is not known how many migrants have already been vaccinated.

Two-thirds of the total population of Costa Rica have received at least one dose of AstraZeneca or Pfizer Inc / BioNTech SE vaccines.

Since 2018, the Central American country has attracted large numbers of migrants from Nicaragua as social and economic hardship increased.

More than 50,000 Nicaraguans were awaiting a response to their asylum claims in September while 100,000 others lacked legal status, said Carlos Sandoval, a migration researcher at the University of Costa Rica. (Reporting by Alvaro Murillo; Editing by Sandra Maler)


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