The vaccination rate could make it possible to do without a mask outside in early July


Publication: Thursday, May 13, 2021 6:04 AM

Spain is starting to see the light at the end of the vast tunnel that this health crisis derived from the coronavirus pandemic has meant. The data on the epidemiological development and the vaccination rate in our country allowed the Ministry of Health to start working on the idea of ​​freeing the population from the mask in open spaces. The file is apparently progressing at a good pace, even with its margins and its doubts, since several dates are already envisaged in which this plan could come into force, which does not seem so far away: between early July and mid-August.

Minister Carolina Darias has already announced that her portfolio is studying this issue with the Autonomous Communities, warning that the Interterritorial Council – based on expert reports – will be the body that will make this decision. As laSexta learned on Wednesday, there is for the moment an essential condition on the table so that the mask is no longer mandatory outside: that at least 50% of the vaccinated population be reached, while the health seems to be tilting right now to reach 70% to give rise to this scenario.

The ministry does not set this percentage at random: it will be when the Spanish population achieves collective immunity against COVID-19. But can we talk about exact deadlines to say goodbye to the mask? To get a rough calculation, you have to look at how the vaccination process is developing in Spain. Because although it has picked up speed in recent weeks, perhaps not enough to meet the times Pedro Sánchez recently declared. The executive leader stressed on Monday that our country was “100 days – now 97 days – from the achievement of group immunity”, which places this long-awaited scenario on August 18.

Taking into account the statement of Sánchez and with the data in hand, several dates are obtained which are concentrated between the middle and the end of the summer. If the schedule provided by the government is respected and the vaccination rate increases, it would reach 50% of the vaccinated population envisaged at the Interterritorial Council by the first week of July. More precisely, the goal could be reached on 7, San Fermín. If minors are excluded from this equation because they are not vaccinated, just over 20 million Spaniards are expected to have received the directive by that date.

Taking into account the other end of the range – that 70% preferred by the Ministry of Health – and the same variables are taken into account, facing August 18, the “ official ” date to obtain collective immunity, more than 28 million people in our country. To summarize the accounts and the approaches, we can say that the central government and the autonomies are debating the possibility of taking to the streets without a mask once more than 20 million people have been vaccinated (scheduled for July 7). 28 million (scheduled for August 18). As of Wednesday, in Spain, 6,502,978 people have already received the full guideline (16.2%) and an estimated 40% already have 70% immunity.

To achieve the expected scenarios, 420,000 doses per day must be averaged; we are at 320,000

However, the truth is that in order to achieve the goals set, it would be necessary to speed up the current vaccination rate somewhat. At present, the numbers and the deadlines do not add up: while there are days when records are reached with more than 500,000 doses administered, there are others where not even 300,000 are. achieved. As of Wednesday, 461,154 doses have been administered, but based on the number of solutions injected daily over the past ten days, an average of 320,000 per day comes out. To meet the dates set by the government, an average of 420,000 per day would have to be administered, about 100,000 more; in percentage, 25% more than what is currently vaccinated if 70% of the vaccinated population is to be reached by August 18.

On the other hand, if the pace does not pick up and the process is maintained as it has been applied to date – to this we must add, among other factors, that more vaccines are received and on schedule. -, this group immunity should be achieved. one more month. I mean, we would go in September. In any case, the vaccination rate in Spain, regardless of forecasts and hypothetical situations, is not going badly. Since the start of the process, our country has inoculated 20,623,815 doses (14.2 million from Pfizer, 1.4 million from Moderna, 4.7 million from AstraZeneca and 197,511 from Janssen) out of the more than 23 million already delivered . A figure even better understood compared to data from neighboring countries.

Spain against the rest of Europe

Spain leads the vaccination table for European Union countries in several groups. Here, the application of the first dose in people over 80 years old has already been completed, and only Ireland or Denmark correspond to us. Our country is in eighth place on the list in administering doses to the group aged between 70 and 79 years (92%), being well above states like France, Greece or Italy. When it comes to the administration of the first dose to people between 60 and 69 years old, Spain is in sixth place (74%), also with a big difference compared to France and Portugal (58% each) ; Greece (48%) or Italy (46%).

However, we are at the bottom of this table in the injection to the age group between 50 and 59 years: in position 21 (16%). But it does make sense: Mass vaccination has yet to reach this group in our country, except in cases of essential workers or large dependents, as we have chosen to vaccinate the older ones first against COVID. -19, the most vulnerable (95% of those who died in a pandemic were over 60 years old in our country). The same is true in the 25-49 age group (Spain is ranked 12th with 12%) and in the 18-24 age group (16th with 6%). Of course, these figures do not only respond to the pace, countries having adopted different criteria according to their preferences.

What we can already see is how countries that have achieved high levels of immunization in their populations for one reason or another are adjusting to the so-called ‘new normal’. This is the case in the UK, which has more than half of its inhabitants vaccinated and death figures close to zero. There, they once again enabled meetings of up to 30 people, free movement of travel and massive events with up to 10,000 spectators, as well as the reopening of numerous businesses and businesses. Also in Israel, where about six million citizens – out of a population of about nine million – have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and about 53% are inoculated with both injections, leading the country to dispense with the vaccine. mask by opening up the spaces and forgetting the great restrictive measures.

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