Good news for foreign retirees in DR: You are entitled to be vaccinated here

Foreigners with legal residence in the Dominican Republic have the same right to be vaccinated here as Dominican citizens, says Dr. José Natalio Redondo, president of the Tourism Cluster of Puerto Plata. Dr. Redondo also presides the Grupo Rescue that is affiliated to major private hospitals in Puerto Plata, La Romana and Punta Cana.

Dr. Redondo says those interested in the Covid-19 vaccines and that meet the vaccination phase requirements need only to go to the nearest vaccination center when the is in effect. An up-to-date cedula and residence card is required. Vaccinations have started with the general public that is 70+ of age.

For those living in Puerto Plata, the place to go is the Centro Sanitario Francisco González Hardy that is behind the Firemen Station on the Malecón. Vaccinations are 9am to 4pm. These are already happening in an organized matter. They began on Sunday, 28 February 2021.

Reports are the procedure can take up to three hours, from the time the person enters the center, is registered and then is vaccinated and waits the half-hour in case of some side effects. The media has not covered cases of side effects so far.

In Sosúa, there are Expanded Immunization Program (PAI) vaccination centers in Los Charamicos and Villa Liberación. Other Puerto Plata vaccination centers are CPN Villa Cafetalera, CPN Los Puentes, CPN Los Brazos, DPS Puerto Plata, Parque Juan García (Sector Gregorio Luperón), Play del Sector Padre Las Casas, Hospital Municipal de Guananico, CPN San Marcos, Hospital Municipal de Villa Isabela. Check with locals to learn if the vaccines have arrived to these centers.

In Punta Cana the vaccine is available at the Centro Medico Punta Cana in the Bavaro area, Politur Friusa and at dozens of vaccination centers.

The government vaccines are preferentially for physicians, pre-school and elementary teachers, the military and Police, and those with proven comorbidities. Also for those 70+. Once more vaccines arrive, those 60+ can visit the vaccination centers as part of the last groups in Phase I.

The vaccines are free for Dominicans with IDs and legal residents with up-to-date documentation.

It is all about when the vaccines arrive. Vaccinations have only just started to arrive to the Dominican Republic. While most of the vaccines were originally contracted to UK an USA firms, given these have not been delivering on time, the Abinader government has purchased vaccines in bulk from China and India.

In his 27 of February 2021 address to the nation, President Luis Abinader announced 90,000 more vials of the India-made AstraZeneca vaccine were on the way. In his speech, Abinader highlighted that the efforts to purchase vaccines at a time when the pharmaceutical houses initially contracted with by the Dominican government have not met the expected deadlines for delivery.

Abinader pointed out that the government has contracted and paid for 20 million vials of vaccine (10 million UK-AstraZeneca, eight million PfizerBioNTech and two million with Covax-WHO facility). But despite the payments made, there so far is no firm date for these to arrive.

The government began vaccinated front line Covid workers on 16 February 2021, with the first shipments of 20,000 and 30,000 vials. It has contracted another 90,000 with the same Oxford-Astra-Zeneca vaccine manufacturers in India. It also contracted an emergency batch of 768,000 vaccines with China’s Sinovac-Biotech that arrived last 23 February 2021 from China.

In his 27 February state of the nation address, President Luis Abinader announced that another two million more Sinovac-Biotech China vaccines are scheduled to arrive on 15 and 25 March 2021. Abinader said the government had placed an order to Sinovac-China for another four million for delivery in April and four million for delivery in May.

President Abinader announced that with the arrival of the Chinese vaccines, Phase I continues with adults 70+. “I will accompany my mother, who with her 81 years, is part of this phase. I invite all others to accompany their parents, relatives and neighbors to ensure they get vaccinated,” he said.

President Abinader says that the most expensive vaccine is the one that is not obtained. President Abinader understands by the end of June 2021 Phase I will be completed. The first phase includes Covid-19 front line workers, medical staff, military and Police, pre-school and elementary teachers, and legal residents 60 years of age and older.

Over the weekend, dozens of persons over 70 were vaccinated after a voice note over social media had circulated telling that the vaccines were being applied at the National Pedro Henriquez Ureña university. The university has been training staff that will be inoculating people nationwide. Later, the vaccines were for school teachers, but so many seniors showed up at the university that those 70 were allowed to get the vaccines. An explanation would later circulate correcting the misinterpreting of a voice message.

In Santo Domingo, reports are that vaccinations for those over 70+ are happening at the National Pedro Henríquez Ureña University (UNPHU) and the Pontifical Catholic Madre y Maestra University (PUCMM) campuses in Santo Domingo. At the PUCMM main campus in Santiago, vaccinations have started.

The government has published they have 183 assigned vaccination points nationwide. This includes 44 in La Altagracia (Punta Cana), 7 in Puerto Plata, 16 in Samaná, 26 in La Romana, among other provinces.

1 March marks day one for the Covid-19 pandemic in the Dominican Republic. It was the day when Italian tourist Claudio Pascualini tested positive. The disease is more or less controlled in the Dominican Republic. With the positivity rate, the number of active cases steadily and the number of positive PCRs declining in the past three weeks. All throughout, the death rate for one million inhabitants has been well below average in the Americas.

Read more in Spanish:
El Dia
Diario Libre


1 March 2021