Publication: Monday, January 18, 2021 06:31
At 96, Araceli Hidalgo rose to stardom. And he did so by being the first person in Spain to receive the long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine. This Monday is marked in red on the calendar: today you receive the second dose which guarantees immunity to the coronavirus.
Three weeks later, from today, the final punctures begin to be administered throughout the national territory against the pandemic, after this Sunday eight regions appeared and began to administer the second dose.
It was confirmed last Tuesday by the Minister of Health of La Moncloa: “The objective is that this week all the residences have received the vaccines. And that next Monday Araceli already receives the second dose and we start to vaccinate the rest” , said Salvador Illa.
Although the government had already prepared its vaccination plan at the end of November, barely a month before the sera began to be administered, the process was not without its critics. To date, according to the latest official data released on Friday, Spain has managed two out of three punctures available.
However, the start in the middle of the Christmas festivities made the vaccination campaign very difficult. The first doses are somewhere between hype and saucer, but the autonomous communities have not put all the resources on the table to ensure their deployment.
90,000 daily injections
Of the 1,139,400 vaccines received (1,103,700 from Pfizer / BioNTech and 35,700 from Moderna), 768,950 doses were punctured. Every day in Spain, more than 90,000 injections are administered, although this still does not reach the “cruising speed” predicted by the Minister of Health.
According to the latest vaccination report published by the ministry, Melilla is the community that has best dosed its sera: 102.5% of those received were applied. The number makes sense and is not a mistake: Health workers have verified that six doses can be extracted from each vial, not just five. Ministry data takes these five vaccines per container as a benchmark, so the percentage exceeds 100%.
In contrast, in the least compliant one, the Basque Country failed to administer half of the doses received (46.2%), followed by Navarra (51.1%) and Madrid (51.2%).
What does this slow vaccination respond to? There are several reasons: the lack of a health structure, in the case of some, while communities like the Basque Country claim to reserve the doses intended for the second dose, in case there are distribution failures that would prevent them from d ‘be administered with new transfers.
What is certain is that the autonomous communities which have vaccinated the least will have fewer sera in the future: the Ministry of Health will distribute more doses to those who have administered them in larger quantities. The reason? A supply problem for Pfizer, which will slow down deliveries undertaken in the coming weeks to all European countries.
This was sent by the Government to the regional executives by mail, in which they ensure that the distribution of this Monday “in addition to meeting fair criteria” will also take into account “the vaccination rate of the first week, in order to that all the Communities have sufficient doses to at least administer the second doses to those vaccinated during the first week. “
According to sources from the ministry to LaSexta, it is not a question of prioritizing those who have vaccinated the most effectively: “The criteria remain fair but the second doses are provided in the autonomous communities in which the first were placed”.
The key to the second dose
The two vaccines authorized in Europe and which are injected in Spain require two doses. Full immunity was not achieved until seven days later, both for Pfizer and for the Moderna compound. In other words, Araceli Hidalgo will not have antibodies ready to defend her 100% against SARS-CoV-2 until next Monday.
This is why vaccination does not mean throwing the bells in the air: until January 25, there will be no citizens fully protected against COVID-19.
Therefore, these days, cases of elderly people and nursing home staff vaccinated against COVID-19, but who were infected, are coming to light.
This is the case of a residence in Calvià (Mallorca), where an epidemic of 55 elderly people and 14 workers was detected. Or that of two residences in Almería, where there are at least a dozen residents and four infected employees.
Should we then delay the second dose and immunize the maximum population? The first injection is only 52% effective. In other words, one in two people will get infected if they only get half the treatment.
Countries like Germany or Belgium have studied it, but have ruled out the option. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has advised against this practice, as it will lead to a loss of effectiveness of the serum.
Who follows the toilet?
Although the priority groups have been the elderly in nursing homes or health workers on the front lines against the virus, there is still time for the vaccine to reach the common population.
The government has created 15 vaccination groups and three phases for dose distribution. In the first, when fewer doses are available for production reasons, the executive prioritized groups that are currently receiving injections.
In the second and third phases, as there are more sera available, the rest of the groups will be included: people with risk conditions, groups and with scientific evidence; people who live or work in closed environments; vulnerable people by socio-economic situation; people with essential jobs; Staff; population of children; adolescent population; the entire adult population; population of regions with high incidence or epidemics; pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and people already immunized with antibodies.
What is the order? It depends on the ministry, which to date has not given more data on the schedule.