EU: ‘70% of the population can be vaccinated by July 14th’
The EU Commission's Vice-President, Margaritis Schinas, said confidently yesterday that the European Union will reach its goal of vaccinating 70% of the population during the summer, naming Bastille Day, July 14th, as the day the target will be reached, announcing it on the same day as the Canaries reached 100,000 people with two doses.
Europe is on target to meet this goal despite the problems with AstraZeneca, which only delayed a small part of the plan. Schinas admitted yesterday, at the Ciclo Europa Futura meeting, that the EU was naive in not insisting from the first week on compliance in their agreement with the pharmaceutical company.
He pointed out that "when we are approaching the final phase of vaccination, there will be an explosion of mobility and demand, which must be used to reactivate the European economy in the second half of the year.”
The first milestone will potentially be May 17th, the earliest date that the UK will allow international travel to resume, and by when in Europe "the machine will have to be working so as not to lose the summer”. For this reason, the vaccination certificate will be the proof to show that anyone who wants to travel in Europe "doesn’t present a risk".
Also present at the meeting was the Minister of Health for Spain, Carolina Darias, who acknowledged that it was a mistake to "save Christmas", because the relaxation of measures caused an increase in infections. To avoid a repeat of this at Easter, she assured that the objective "is not to save weeks, but to save lives", therefore she asked citizens for "responsibility and prudence" in the face of a spike in infections that could lead the country to a fourth wave of the virus.
Darias once again maintained that the forecast, according to that of the European Commission, is to have 70% of the Spanish population vaccinated by the end of the summer, some 33 million people with both doses. And to fulfil it, she aims to make a significant leap in the arrival of vaccines to Spain in April.
Just yesterday the autonomous communities received just over a million doses against the coronavirus, of which 672,750 are Pfizer and 393,600 are Moderna. From April there will be a big increase in the supply of vaccines which are scheduled to multiply by three times. According to Darias, the vaccination process is progressing quickly and the priority objective now is those over 80 years of age, which she hopes will be fulfilled in the next two weeks.
12 autonomous communities are seeing Covid-19 infections rise, while four are still in decline and the rest are in a period of stability. Madrid (255), Navarra (265), Ceuta (268) and Melilla (502) are at extreme risk (over 250 cases per 100,000 inhabitants), while Asturias, Catalonia and the Basque Country are already at high risk (more than 150 cases). The Canary Islands are now at 131.53 cases.
The Ministry of Health and the regions are working to stabilize cases for a few more weeks, because with the level of vaccination on the rise, it should be a milder epidemic wave, and begin to relax restrictions.
THE ARCHIPELAGO EXCEEDS 100,000 PEOPLE IMMUNIZED AGAINST COVID:
Vaccination is going well in the Canary Islands and yesterday they reached more than 100,000 people who have received the two doses of the different vaccines currently approved by the European Medicines Agency (Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca), which means they have immunity to the coronavirus. However, more doses are still missing to push a massive administration to meet the goal of reaching 70% during the summer.
Canarias continues to insist that it has the capacity to vaccinate more than 30,000 people a day and believes that it will be possible to do so as of next week, not only with the arrival in the last hours of more Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, but also that of Janssen, which only requires one dose.
Finally, the group of people over 80 years old in Tenerife and Gran Canaria are getting restless and are asking to be immunized, as they can see that younger groups are already being vaccinated in the other Islands due to their population size.