Delay By Astrazeneca Jeopardizes Mass Vaccination Campaign Scheduled For April 5
Catalonia will not receive the 148,000 AstraZeneca vaccines committed to next Monday, March 29, “at least”, until April 5, when it will receive an “indeterminate number of doses.” Catalunya will not receive any dose of AstraZeneca next week. “What a shame (…) Enough of this nonsense,” wrote the ‘councilor’ of Salut, Alba Vergés, on Twitter, after being informed by the Ministry of Health.
There are 148,000 new vaccines that Catalonia will not be able to put the following week due to the repeated non-compliance of the pharmaceutical company, something that Vergés does not specify in his ‘tweet’.
Even so, the Department of Health will vaccinate with the Oxford drug some120,000 people who were already cited and who will not be deprogrammed and, therefore, will not be affected. But the massive vaccination campaign that Salut intended to initiate, precisely on April 5, is in danger .
“[The delays] prevent us from maintaining the vaccination rate, yesterday we put 40,000. We are breaking the vaccination round once it has started,” Vergés complained to the media.
In addition, next week Salut will receive 62,000 Moderna vaccines, of which 42,000 will be second doses. Of those remaining 20,000, 10,000 will be first doses and the other 10,000 will remain as a strategic reserve for second doses.
This vaccine, due to its difficult logistics (“they cannot move”, said this Thursday the Secretary of Public Health, Josep Maria Argimon) are being put in seriously ill patients “controlled in the hospital”, such as transplant patients, dialysis patients , with solid hematological or oncological cancer. “We will expand it to neurological patients,” Argimon specified. Also next week, 104,000 Pfizer vaccines will arrive and on April 5, more194,000.
AstraZeneca’s repeated delays contrast with the public’s enthusiasm for getting vaccinated with the Oxford drug. At the press conference of the Pla de Protecció Civil de Catalunya (Procicat), the Secretary General of Health, Marc Ramentol, has positively highlighted the number of people between 60 and 65 years old who have requested an appointment on the Salut website to get vaccinated with AstraZeneca (vaccinecovidsalut.cat).
The average age in the ucis is 63 years, that is why Salut highlights that so many people from this group go to get vaccinated. “There is no crisis of confidence of the population in this vaccine,” he celebrated.
The website, where both essential professionals and the general population (only between 60 and 65 years old) can make an appointment even if they have not received the SMS from Salut, collapsed yesterday.
The ‘conselleria’ asks to wait to receive the notice from the department. “All vaccines have the names and surnames of people at risk,” said Ramentol, referring to those people who have not yet received the SMS from Salut to be vaccinated with AstraZeneca.
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For his part, Argimon has said that, if there were no 65-year limit to be vaccinated with the Oxford drug (Catalonia claims to remove this cap), some 221,000 people would have already been vaccinated . Yesterday a total of 42,000 vaccines were put in Catalonia , of which 21,000 were from AstraZeneca. Salut has not provided figures for this Thursday.
The Procicat has also announced today that Catalonia will maintain the current restrictions at least until April 9, once Holy Week is over. Salut was already betting on extending the measures. That is, it will be possible to continue leaving the region with the coexistence bubble, in addition to commercial normality after so many weekends with the blinds down.
As Ramentol explained, the Government currently has “two alerts on the table.” The first, the “increase in mobility” recorded last weekend, which stands at “near values” at the end of last summer. “We are concerned about the social interaction derived from this mobility.”