On September 28, 2021, the National Vaccination and Epidemiology Commission (CNVE) announced that the vaccine against COVID-19 will be mandatory for all public workers, in order to address the health emergency that the country has been facing for more than a year.
Previously, vaccination was mandatory only for front-line pandemic response officials, i.e. employees of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund, Ministry of Health, private medical personnel, National Emergency Commission, Firefighters, Red Cross and police forces; however, with this new provision, all public officials must now be vaccinated.
In addition, the CNVE authorized private sector employers to take, within their internal labor provisions, the necessary measures to guarantee the safety and protection of their employees, including the mandatory vaccination of their workers. In other words, private sector employees may now be required to be vaccinated.
The current Labor Code contemplates in numeral 71 as part of the obligations of the workers to comply with the preventive measures of the authorities and the employers for the safety and protection of the personnel or the place where they work.
It is important to point out that the country had planned to reach herd immunity between October and December of this year; however, the low attendance to the call made by the authorities for the population to be vaccinated, has led to take this type of measures.
In the next few days, the executive branch will sign the decree that officially establishes the mandatory vaccination against COVID-19.