April will mark a before and after in vaccinations in Spain. Although a significant number of doses are arriving (around a million a week), all the pharmaceutical companies plan to increase the rate next month. And it will be then when a new one is expected to be added to the three that already exist:
Janssen, which the European Medicines Agency (EMA, for its acronym in English), plans to approve on March 11 . This is a single dose, so with it, twice the population is immunized with the same punctures as with those of AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer. The Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, announced this Monday in the SER that 4.8 million injections will arrive from this last house next month.
With this panorama, and if there are no unforeseen events that prevent the forecasts from being met, the horizon of vaccinating 70% of the adult population during the summer seems possible. At least in terms of the number of doses available.
It remains to be seen that the system is capable of managing them all in a timely manner . It is difficult to specify dates and shifts, since pharmaceutical companies and governments are gradually revealing how many will arrive in the coming weeks, but an approximation can be made.
Until the end of the summer there are, including this, 28 weeks. The objective is to vaccinate a minimum of 27.4 million people (70% of the adult population of Spain) , for which almost 55 million doses will be necessary (in the case of double-prick vaccines).
This means that subtracting those already administered (4.7 million), a maximum of 1.8 million weekly injections should be given between this week and September 21. Actually they will be less, since the Janssen only requires a puncture.
But it is difficult to specify how many fewer because the number of vials of this pharmaceutical company that will arrive in the second quarter is not known exactly, only that Spain will account for 21 million by the end of the year.
The European Commission acknowledged this Monday that between April and June it expects 300 million doses to be distributed , 20% less than expected. Even so, Spain has more than 30 million; that is, 2.3 million doses a week, more than enough to meet the goal.
Until now, Brussels hoped to receive 300 million from the three pharmaceutical companies with authorized vaccines (BioNTech-Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca) and reach 380 million with the probable incorporation of a fourth (Janssen’s).
83.4% of the doses received were administered
So far Spain has administered more than 4.6 million, 83.4% of which it has received , although the best time to measure this percentage is every Tuesday afternoon, when a week has passed since the communities have the doses and have had time to administer them.
With the vast majority of residents and health workers vaccinated, communities are in the process of immunizing essential professionals under the age of 55(to whom those of AstraZeneca are intended) and those over 80 years of age. These began about two weeks ago, although the exact date varies between autonomous communities.
Although most do not provide details by groups, those that do give an idea of the rhythm: Catalonia has administered the first dose at 11%, Galicia at 20%, Extremadura at 25% and Andalusia is close to half. In the best of cases, there is still the vast majority to be punctured.
The order in this group also varies by region. Galicia did so in alphabetical order starting with the letter H. Other communities, such as the Balearic Islands, Castilla-La Mancha and Navarra began with the oldest. Madrid and Aragon follow the order of age, but it is organized by each health center: depending on the area, some vaccinated may be younger than others (always over 80 years old).
In most of the communities this group is mixing with one foreseen in the first phase: the large dependents. It was intended that they overlap, since the overlap is essential for the process to be agile. But in cases such as Madrid or Andalusia they have started with them after those over 80 years of age, skipping the order established by the national vaccination protocol.
Union sources and some autonomous communities explain that the difficulty of going to the homes of large employees has in some cases relegated them to move forward with the process more quickly. Madrid has already done something similar by vaccinating most of the toilets before the residents, since the administration to this group is the fastest of all.
The vulnerable group under 60 years of age is included to receive the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines when all those older than 60 years have finished immunization, which will still take months. The ministry has not yet decided what conditions fall into that “vulnerable” category.
The Platform of Patient Organizations (POP) believes that “we must take advantage of the update of the vaccination strategy to include the most vulnerable groups of chronically ill patients.” The platform’s spokeswoman, María Gálvez, admits that the current age system is comfortable and easy to explain , “but we have people who spend the day in the hospital and are dying,” she says.
Andalusia is close to one million people (952,246, 7% of its 8.4 million) with a first dose of vaccine administered and 263,299 people (3%) have completed both doses.
After completing the immunization of the 665 nursing homes, the Board now ends the pricks to health professionals, with 83% already immunized (both doses) and now focuses on the 460,000 over 80 years with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines : half (49.3%) have a first dose and 6% both, with data from March 5. The Board also vaccinates large dependents and dependents in grade three who cannot travel to the vaccination points at their homes.
Meanwhile, teachers, police officers and civil guards up to 55 years of age advance their vaccination with the doses of AstraZeneca, which began to be administered last week, with the first dose administered to 71% of teachers and 40% of local police officers.
For security reasons, the Board reserves 20% and 40% of the vaccine shipments from Pfizer and Moderna respectively, while doses of AstraZeneca are not saved. Only 0.63% of the population has refused to be immunized so far, without the Board specifying the reasons.
Catalonia is finalizing the vaccination phase for residents and health personnel. The Department of Health has administered the two doses to 82.3% of the elderly living in nursing homes and 60.4% of health personnel. The process of administration to dependent groups and people in home care is currently following: 38% have already received the first dose.
Essential professionals are also being vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine: coverage with the first dose in teachers is 30.4%; mossos, police and firefighters exceed 64%; and pharmacists, 55%. Catalonia has administered the first dose to 11% of the population over 80 years of age, and the department has begun to summon transplants. In total, Catalonia has administered a total of 774,027 vaccines until Monday.
In Madrid, 643,424 doses have been inoculated as of Monday, 86% of those received —529,935 from Pfizer, 51,300 from Moderna and 167,200 from AstraZeneca -. 179,265 people already have the complete guideline.
Although this Monday the Ministry of Health did not give percentages on the scope of the priority groups vaccinated, last Friday the Deputy Minister of Public Health Antonio Zapatero updated these data: “More than 90,000 people aged 80 or over, 30,000 from the armed forces, security, emergency and civil protection bodies, 34,000 teachers and 2,500 large employees ”.
Only three days later, the Community has decided to readjust the vaccination plan and temporarily suspend the citation for new doses in people over 80 years of age.
This “readjustment”, explains a spokesman for the Ministry of Health, is due to “lack of vaccines”: “The rate of vaccination will be lowered because it is necessary to reserve doses for the second ones”. According to the Ministry of Health, “the planned doses of Pfizer have arrived.”
In other words, the reorganization is due to the Community’s own planning – and that it organized in 48 hours the last week of February for the elderly and teachers – and it began this Tuesday morning. “It will be carried out keeping the patients mentioned until 9:00 p.m. today, March 8, so that from tomorrow morning NO [appears in capital letters in the mail] no new appointment will have to be managed, since it will not take effect in the calculation of the vials to be distributed to each health center during these days ”.
This week will begin to inoculate those large dependents who are at home without the possibility of moving and also those who can do it to health centers, “more than 23,000”, Zapatero said on Friday. In addition, he assured that “98% of the residents have a complete vaccination” and that this has resulted in a 96% reduction in the cases of covid in these social health centers and 73% in the hospitalizations of these residents.
The Community does explain that “all the groups are underway” and that in one of the priority groups, that of those over 80, it is proceeding from “older to less” and that it is done from the health centers, also those who have private insurance: “They are included.”