Publication: Sunday, March 7, 2021 7:32 AM
Europe is opening up to the arrival of new vaccines against the coronavirus. While this same Thursday the European Medicines Agency (EMA) gave the green light to the review of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V, forecasts also predict that in the coming days the American injection developed by the company Johnson & Johnson will be approved. .
As regards Spain, in our country, three vaccines are currently being inoculated: the one developed by Pfizer and BioNtech, Moderna, and the one developed by the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
However, these injections happen (and are used) erratically. In this sense, the first two are given to people over the age of 55, while the AstraZeneca vaccine, due to the lack of data supporting its effects in these groups, is only used in alternative groups offered by Health.
However, objections to the Anglo-Swedish vaccine have been reduced over the days, to the point that Germany, Sweden and Belgium have already approved its use in older groups, like Italy or France, after good UK data. However, Spain remains exactly the same in its strategy: this antidote can only be used in the youngest groups.
Next, we review the injections that are administered in Spain, the number of doses, their characteristics and the groups in which it is inoculated:
Pfizer / BioNTech
The vaccine developed by Pfizer is, according to the European Medicines Agency (EMA), 95% effective in its ability to reduce the number of symptomatic cases of COVID-19 in people who have received the vaccine in previous studies.
In Spain, this injection is mainly used in seven of the groups foreseen by the government in the vaccination plan of the Interterritorial Health Council. In this way, all people over 56 years of age who belong to one of these groups receive two doses of this vaccine:
Residents and health personnel of these centers Primary health personnel Primary care personnel, other health and socio-health groups, dentists and dental hygienists Persons considered to be major dependents and their caregivers Persons aged 80 and over more People aged 70 to 79 (not yet injecting) People aged 60 to 69 (not yet receiving the injection)
As reported by the Ministry of Health, the contract signed between the EU and the pharmaceutical company stipulates that some 52 million doses arrive in our country. As with the rest of the RNA injections, it is necessary to use it twice.
According to the EMA, this vaccine is 94.1% effective in its ability to reduce the number of symptomatic cases of COVID-19 in people who have received the vaccine. The test was performed on approximately 28,000 people between the ages of 18 and 94 who showed no signs of previous infection.
In Spain this injection is used in the same groups as those previously mentioned with Pfizer; that is, all people from priority groups who are over 55, as well as front-line health professionals and workers who have already benefited from it.
According to the Ministry of Health, the contract signed between the EU and this company certifies that around 33 million doses of the injection will reach Spain.
However, as happened with the rest of the vaccines, the reception was diminished by various problems, which delayed the proposed strategy. Along with this, as with Pfizer, this injection requires two doses to boost immunity.
The vaccine developed by AstraZeneca has, according to EMA studies, an effectiveness of 59.5% in its ability to reduce the number of symptomatic cases of COVID-19 in people who have received the vaccine. This research combined four clinical trials, conducted in the UK, Brazil and South Africa, which showed the COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine “to be safe and effective in preventing COVID-19 in people aged 18 and over. and more, ”explains the entity. .
However, the EMA also argued that “there are still not enough results in participants over 55” to provide a figure that certifies its effectiveness in this group, although they also state that, At the same time, “there is information on the safety of the vaccine” in this population.
In Spain, after the company had various problems with the EU while supplying its vaccines, the signed contract says that around 31 million doses of AstraZeneca will arrive in our country. It also requires two doses to use, although it is a different type of vaccine (while the previous two are mRNA type, it is an adenovirus vector).
Currently it is used in the following groups:
Health and social health staff not previously vaccinated, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, pharmacy office staff, etc. The rest of the professionals who work in the health fields, as well as the rest of the health professions: veterinarians, nutritionists, etc. security, emergencies and the armed forces. Early childhood education teachers and staff and special educational needs. Primary and secondary education teachers and staff.
The rest of the vaccines
On the other hand, the Spanish government also has other injections, which should arrive in the coming months. The closest to approval will be the imminent Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is expected to materialize next week.
A contract is also being negotiated with the company Novavax, whose vaccine is also under review, as well as another with the French company Sanofi. However, no date has been specified for its review and application, which should be in 2021, nor the number of doses that would reach Spain. Even so, the contract is already signed.
Added to this is the latest news from the EMA: the Russian vaccine, Sputnik V, is already under review by the drug agency. This fact only means one thing: as happened with previous injections, like those from Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca, the entity will review in real time, as the data is released, the effectiveness and quality of this antidote against the coronavirus. Despite everything, unlike what is happening with the others, Spain has not (yet) signed an agreement with the injection developed at the Russian National Epidemiology Center.
So, here is the distribution of vaccines that the Spanish government has approved: