Coronavirus in Spain: Spanish regions begin to announce vaccination plans for under 50s | Society
Spain’s central health ministry reported 5,701 new coronavirus infections on Thursday and added 73 victims to the total death toll. The 14-day cumulative number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 population continues to decline, and yesterday it fell a further seven points, to 166.32. A total of 3,598,452 coronavirus infections have been confirmed in Spain since the start of the pandemic, while the official death toll now stands at 79,281.
As the pressure on hospitals and intensive care units (ICUs) diminishes, Madrid, the Basque Country and Aragon are still at extreme risk, according to the criteria of the Ministry of Health. The three regions have a cumulative incidence of more than 250 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over 14 days, and more than 25% of their ICU beds are occupied by Covid-19 patients.
Also Thursday, the Ministry of Health updated its vaccination strategy. He proposed using the Messenger RNA vaccines – Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech – for pregnant and breastfeeding women, as soon as the campaign reaches their age group. In addition, authorities will give the green light for vaccination of vulnerable young people aged 12 to 15 – disabled or at high risk – once the European Medicines Agency (EMA) grants the authorization. The rest of this age group will not, for the moment, be a priority. In addition, people born between 1972 and 1981 can now be vaccinated, according to the ministry, but the vaccines that will be used for this group of 40 to 49 years have not been established.
14% full protection
Just over 14% of the Spanish population now enjoys the full protection against Covid-19 offered by the vaccines the country uses. A total of 6,716,156 people – 14.2% of citizens to be exact – received either the two doses of the drug Oxford-Astrazeneca, Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech, or the single dose of the Janssen vaccine.
According to the latest report from the central health ministry, 14,555,552 people have so far received at least one dose, or 30.7% of the population. The regions of the country – which are in charge of their own vaccination campaigns – administered 21,071,940 doses in total, or 91.2% of the total they received.
By age group, almost all over 80s in the country enjoy the full protection offered by vaccines, while 94% of those aged 70-79 have received at least one dose. Over 80% of the 60-69 age group has also had at least one injection. The regions of Andalusia, Asturias, the Balearic Islands, Castile and León, Extremadura, Valencia, Madrid and Catalonia will all go under 50 in June.
Region by region
In fact, Castilla-La Mancha will be vaccinating the 30-39 age group from the last week of June, according to regional government sources. If this happens, it will be the first territory to reach these young ages during the current campaign. However, the Ministry of Health will first need to update its immunization strategy, defining which vaccines to use, and will need to approve this upcoming phase.
Madrid’s deputy health chief Antonio Zapatero of the PP called on Friday for “responsibility and caution” on the part of the public, given that it will be the first full weekend without a state of alarm and restrictions coronaviruses such as a nighttime curfew and regional perimeter lockdowns. “Things are better, but we haven’t beaten Covid,” he said. “It is not finished.”
Zapatero also announced today that regional health authorities will start vaccinating the 50-55 age group next week, and added that Madrid is working to vaccinate the homeless and irregular migrants in the region. .
Madrid’s Director General of Health Care Elena Andradas also explained on Friday that the region should have finished administering the first dose of the vaccine to 50-59 year olds by June, dropping to those under 50 this month. -the. “This will mean vaccination coverage of over 60% of the population,” she added. The 30 to 39 age group is expected to be called for vaccination in July.
In Andalusia, regional prime minister Juan Manuel Moreno warned that “everything could go out of the window if we are not responsible”. Speaking at a press conference, the PP politician said the region “is very close to having the collective immunity that we all want to have. This allows us to recover spaces of freedom, movement and economic recovery. He called for responsibility, especially among young people, because “unwittingly, they can bring drama to them and to their loved ones.” He added that some outbreaks had been detected at social gatherings and called on everyone to act responsibly.
The regional premier of the northern Navarre region, María Chivite, today announced that health authorities will focus on the 40-49 age group for the vaccination campaign in the second half of June, provided that “the vaccine arrivals forecasts be respected”. This sector of the region’s population, she said, is “very large”, with 85,000 people, but added that “the speed of vaccination is accelerating” and forecasts “are improving”.
Meanwhile, the Spanish government today extended the travel restrictions currently in place for those arriving from India, a country which is currently being battered by another catastrophic wave of the coronavirus. A mandatory quarantine for these travelers will remain in place until at least May 29, given the impact of the variant of the virus detected in this country. The measure could be extended once more after that date. As of Friday, the Indian government confirmed another 4,000 deaths from Covid-19.
English version by Simon hunter.