Starting in July, all foreigners who apply for temporary or permanent residency in Costa Rica, which are between 14,000 and 20,000 people annually, will have to apply vaccines against 17 diseases, if they haven’t already.
The ministries of Health and Migration are working on the exact requirements. This initiative goes along with the national scheme of vaccines and is a matter of respecting human rights and the General Health Law. They are also working on ensuring the doses needed are available in the country. Some of the vaccines are against measles, rubella and mumps, BCG, Hepatitis B, pneumococcus, influenza, tetanus, diphtheria, rotavirus and human papillomavirus.
Nine foreigners and one Costa Rican were recently infected with measles. They are a family of three from France who were infected in their country before travelling, six of the nine children of an American missionary couple in Cóbano, and a translator from Turrialba who worked with the missionaries. The risk index for measles in Costa Rica is 1.30. Anything 0.8 or over is considered high. The country invested $1 million in an extraordinary campaign against the virus. This protected almost 770,000 children between 15 months and 10 years.