Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Monday signed the decree mandating all civil servants to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and also allowing private employers to follow suit.
The decree is due to be published in the Official Gazette at the earliest and it would become effective this coming Friday, it was reported by the Government through a statement.
According to the decree, it will be the employer's responsibility to take the corresponding measures in accordance with the country's legislation and institutional regulations, in the case of workers who do not want to be vaccinated.
Salas announced Sept. 28 that the decree would be signed to establish the mandatory vaccination for all civil servants as a measure to reduce deaths and hospitalizations.
Private employers will also be empowered to demand vaccination from their workers, in accordance with their internal provisions.
The Government claims its decision is backed by judicial resolutions which have “recognized the importance of vaccination as part of the essential health care that the Costa Rican State must guarantee in order to protect the fundamental right to health of everybody.
According to the Government, the protection of public health and the prevention of diseases constitutes a constitutionally legitimate purpose that can validly justify the mandatory nature of vaccines.”
According to reports, Intensive Care Units (ICU) in Costa Rica are above their optimal capacity of 359 beds and around 90% of the people hospitalized there have either not been vaccinated failed to complete their vaccination scheme.
Costa Rica has 5.1 million inhabitants, with 5,760,293 doses of vaccine having been applied, of which 3,470,013 are first doses and 2,290,280 second doses, according to Oct. 4 data.
September showed 68,459 new infections and 880 COVID-19 deaths. Between Sept. 26 and Oct. 2, there were 227 deaths from covid-19, the highest weekly figure so far in the pandemic. As of October 8, Costa Rica had 544,021 cases and 6,612 deaths throughout the pandemic.
Costa Rica's Health Ministry has not yet detailed the consequences for civil servants who refuse the injection.