Minister of Health: ‘We are about to make a spectacular leap in vaccination’
The Ministry of Health of the Canary Islands has resumed the administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine with the inclusion of the population under 65 years of age, prioritizing people between 60 and 65 years old. This has been reported by the regional Government, who adds that this restart is carried out with the guarantees of safety and efficacy from the scientific evidence of the Committee for the Evaluation of Risks in Pharmacovigilance (PRAC) of the European Agency of Medicines (EMA), the Public Health Commission and recent UK observational studies.
In addition to continuing to vaccinate large household dependents and those over 80 with a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, inoculation was resumed yesterday with AstraZeneca for the 144,000 people who are between 60 and 65 years old in the Canary Islands. This is, the first time they are starting vaccinations by age, and not only by risk groups, and those over 65 will be next with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines which will also incorporate the Janssen single dose vaccine next month.
This is not an obstacle to the fact that, while starting with the age group of 60 to 65 years, it continues with groups 3 and 6, which are made up of health and social health care workers not previously vaccinated, prison workers or others in essential jobs but not frontline workers such as teachers and personnel of special, infant, primary and secondary education, or who belong to the Security Forces, Emergency Services, and the Armed Forces.
In order to increase the places of vaccination in Gran Canaria and Tenerife, in addition to the health centres of the Islands, there are now spaces enabled in the four university hospitals of Tenerife and Gran Canaria. In this sense, Tenerife has opened a space in the Las Madres citizen centre in La Laguna for vaccinating, while in Gran Canaria the Expomeloneras site in the island's capital, is being used.
According to the Ministry of Health a total of 244,932 doses of Covid vaccines have been administered in the Canary Islands, and 87,467 people have already received the two doses of the vaccine in the Islands, which means 6.5% of the target population.
By groups, the vaccination progress is as follows:
- Group 1: 100% both doses.
- Group 2: 100% both doses.
- Group 3: 99.3% one dose and 19.2% with two doses.
- Group 4: 87.9% with one dose and 52% with two doses.
- Group 5: 36.3% with one dose and 11.5% with two doses.
- Group 6: 26.3% with one dose.
The Health Service also advises that mild local and/or systemic reactions may appear after vaccination, such as local pain, low-grade fever, chills, myalgia, headache and slight illness. It is more common after the first dose and usually disappears within 12-24 hours.
Yesterday the Minister of Health for Span, Carolina Darias, said: ‘We are about to make a spectacular leap in vaccination’. According to her department this was always going to be the case at the start of April, due to the delivery schedule of the vaccines to the EU by the three main suppliers Pfizer, Moderna and Astra Zeneca.
Many people, mainly the public, have criticised the EU vaccination plan as they have seen countries such as the UK surge ahead and have a large percentage of the population vaccinated already. Spain particularly, are confident they are on target for 70% of the population being vaccinated in Summer, and say that the increase in delivery, addition of the Janssen vaccine, reactivation of the Astra Zeneca vaccine will keep them on target.
The Canary Islands, having a smaller population of only 2.1 million people, will advance very quickly once the risk groups are completed and the age groups, the 60 to 65’s being the first, are started en masse. Again with increase in delivery, but also with new centres opening and staff training completed, the target of 70% in summer is realistic. Right now, be patient, the call will come for your turn.