On Wednesday, the new President of Costa Rica, Rodrigo Chaves, and the Minister of Health, Jocelyn Chacón, confirmed that the vaccine against covid-19 will not be mandatory in Costa Rica.
Chaves had promised that when his term began on 8 May he would end the mandatory Covid injection policy. In his first decree after taking office, Chaves dropped his country’s mask mandate and the requirement that public employees get vaccinated.
In November 2021, Costa Rica became the first country in the world to announce it would make Covid injections mandatory for children. Costa Rica has long mandated vaccines, and such requirements are supported by the country’s laws. However, three months after the announcement, Costa Ricans were still bitterly divided over mandatory Covid injections for children.
“Today [3 August] vaccines are no longer mandatory and any action against someone who does not want to be vaccinated is a violation of the law,” the president emphasised.
The announcement came after almost 93% of Costa Ricans had their first dose, 87% had a second, 51% a third and 10% a fourth dose, according to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social – the Costa Rican Social Security Fund which is in charge of most of the nation’s public health sector.
As well as the immediate end to compulsory vaccination Chaves said that there will be an investigation into the contracts signed by the previous government as he believes excessive amounts of doses were purchased.