Posted: Friday June 11 2021 6:23 PM
The Community of Madrid has decided to bring forward by one week the second dose of AstraZeneca vaccines for the population aged 60 to 69 years in the face of the greater presence of variants such as that of India, which could in a few weeks be predominant . in Spain and already has 22 confirmed cases in the region. The second dose would be inoculated 11 weeks after the first puncture, instead of 12 as planned, according to Madrid’s Deputy Minister of Public Health and the Covid-19 Plan, Antonio Zapatero, during a press conference.
Despite the drop in incidence – which now stands at 116 cases per 100,000 inhabitants at 14 days, and 45.8 cases at seven days – Zapatero stressed his concern at the increase in cases of the India variant in the region, with 18 confirmed this week. alone, adding to the four last week, and others awaiting sequencing.
The concern is not only that the imported cases of this variant have increased, but that “there is community transmission” in Madrid and “surely throughout Spain”, and given what happened in United Kingdom, where in a short time the spread of the Indian strain became predominant, Zapatero predicted that in Spain the same could happen in six or seven weeks.
The Indian variant, the deputy adviser explained, is 50% more transmissible than the UK variant, and it occurs in young people or those who have not completed their immunization schedule, so the population that is fully immunized “does not ask no problem. “This is the reason why Public Health has decided to guarantee vaccination of the population group between 60 and 69 years old who have already received the first dose of AstraZeneca, and instead of waiting 12 weeks for inoculate the second, they will only wait for 11.
So far, the people of Madrid over 80 are already completely immune; 95.9% of 70 to 79 year olds have their first dose and 92.7% the full regimen; and 90.9% of the 60-69 year age group received the first dose and 24.1% completed the vaccination.
Another variant that worries the regional government is B.1.621, described in Colombia in January and whose main characteristic is that it has mutations that give it greater transmissibility and probably less response to vaccines. In the past two weeks, 17 positive travelers arriving in Spain via Adolfo Suárez-Madrid Barajas Airport have been identified as carriers of this strain “with a very high viral load”, which “leads to the conclusion that it is difficile for the originally manufactured diagnostic test was negative ”.
“There is still no effective control,” lamented the Deputy Minister, who reiterated his request to the Ministry of Health to intensify “urgently” controls at airports, including the arrival of passengers in coming from high-risk countries which may bring new variants.