Spain Makes Changes to Prioritisation of Covid-19 Vaccination
The Public Health Commission of Spain have announced changes in the prioritisation of Covid-19 vaccination.
The first grouping currently underway will be people 80 and over.
Once complete attention will turn to those in the 70 to 79 years age group.
Next will come those in the 60 to 69 age range.
Next will come those aged under 60 who have what are considered higher risk factors. The specifics of the criteria to be in this fourth grouping will be announced at the next public health commission briefing.
These first four groupings are all designated to receive the Pfizer and Moderna
Meanwhile health care professionals, some essential workers and those in the 45 to 55 age range will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine. This third vaccine has an age limit of 55 years on its approved status in Spain.
What is also unclear is exactly when these new priority groups will get their shots, as this depends on the size of the shipments and the speed of administration in a healthcare system whose resources are already stretched thin.
Different regions of Spain are proceeding at different speeds. For now, seven have begun immunizing the 80-and-over population, while most are still working on the Phase 1 priority groups: residents and workers of care facilities, health personnel and people with need for daily assistance who do not live in a care home. Meanwhile, essential workers under 55 are also getting immunized with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
Although no specific timelines have been announced, the goal is to vaccinate 80% of seniors 80 and over before the end of March, which means administering two doses to around 2.8 million people. But other groups will likely start getting their first jabs before that process ends, to ensure that there are no breaks in the pace of vaccination.
Once Spain’s seniors have been immunized, it is hoped that the epidemiological data will change significantly. Right now, eight out of every 10 deaths from Covid-19 are occurring among the elderly. Even if the virus remains in circulation the way it has to date, deaths should decline noticeably.
Speaking to the announcement the Minister of Health, Patricia Gómez, said that the number of vaccines arriving in the Balearics will increase substantially during March and April. Pfizer, for example, will almost double the current 28,000 per month to over 50,000 next Month.
Though the current level of vaccination in the Balearics remains very low, reported earlier this week at 0.44% of the population, the health minister assured the public that the vaccines are being administered as fast as they arrive.