The Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship (MREC) published on May 19th the steps to apostille or legalize the proof of a vaccine against the novel Coronavirus applied in the United States, for Costa Ricans who traveled to that country and were able to recieve only one of the two doses progammed.
Said procedure -with which documents issued by foreign authorities are recognized- must be applied to the certificate or vaccination card as a requirement to request the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) for the second dose of an injection -such as that of Pfizer / BioNTech- that the person has not been able to apply in North America for reasons of time, since 12 weeks must elapse from the first inoculation to complete the scheme.
Take careful note
However, it must be clear that this process is carried out with the Secretary of State of the place where a person is vaccinated, in compliance with the provisions of the Hague Apostille Convention, the Convention for the Elimination of the Requirement of Legalization by Foreign Public Documents and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
At this point, it is necessary to emphasize that if the person injecting it is not a public official, they must be able to certify that the person who signs the voucher is authorized for this purpose. Once with this, you must take an authentication to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the Department of Health of the respective US state.
Once you have the certification from the health authority, you must take it to the Secretary of State so that it is duly apostilled. This procedure has costs and deadlines that vary depending on the place, before which the Foreign Ministry recommended contacting the convenience apostille office beforehand.
When you comply with all these procedures, you will be able to present the legalized voucher to the Costa Rican Social Security, not the Ministry of Foreign Relations. It is important that when submitting the document, it is in Spanish. If it is in a different language, you will need to find an official translator.
Remember that in addition to the legalized proof, the National Vaccination and Epidemiology Commission (CNVE) – led by the Ministry of Health – established three other requirements for the institution that watches over social security:
– That the person requiring the dose is within the active prioritization group (as of May 19th, immunization was maintained in the first four of five defined groups).
– Meet the second dose vaccination period (now 12 weeks for Pfizer, matching AstraZeneca).
– That there is availability of vaccine in the country, as brands cannot be combined.