Misc 03/01/2021

Lack of refrigerators to move vaccines makes it impossible to maintain the planned herd immunity rate

Health Department vaccinate only 13% of the population they had announced they would immunize

2 min

BarcelonaLogistical problems, a holiday calendar and the lack of adequate refrigerators to maintain the temperature of the vaccine are the justifications given by the Health Department to explain the low rate of immunization in the care homes. During this first week of the vaccination campaign since the first injection was given to Josefa Pérez, a user of a home in l'Hospitalet (Barcelona), only 7,744 people have been vaccinated, including care home residents and workers.

In seven days, and according to data from the Department, only 12.9% of the 60,000 doses of vaccines that Pfizer-BioNTech has delivered in Catalonia have been supplied. The department has admitted that today there are not enough refrigerators to transport the vaccines because "many were trapped in the Calais tunnel during the border closure with the United Kingdom" the days before New Year's Eve. Once queues are solved, and with the mini refrigerators already in Catalonia, the ministry is confident that it will be able to restore order and increase the pace.

In addition, the Health Department also refers to the slow pace at which consent to vaccinate elderly people in care homes is received, a procedure that often requires the signature of family members and guardians, and which the department claims that it produces delays.

According to the daily balance sheet, 1,660 people were vaccinated yesterday, a figure significantly lower than the one recorded on December 30 and 31, with some 2,400 doses administered. However, on 1 January, the first public holiday of the week, only two people were immunised. The worst result was on 28 January, the second day of the campaign, when the shipment sent from the headquarters of the pharmaceutical company Pfizer could not arrive to Spain until 24 hours later than planned due to logistical problems. Despite the fact that the health authorities said they would resume the activity the next day, only 444 vaccinations were carried out on the 29th.

And in this context, the general data on the evolution of the disease does not make things easier. The EPG number, which measures the growth potential of the coronavirus, has increased by 54 points in the last 24 hours in Catalonia, and the R number and hospital pressure have also increased, with 81 new admissions and 12 more patients in the ICUs. According to the data updated this Sunday by the Department of Health of the Generalitat, in the last 24 hours there have been 1,483 new people infected by Covid-19 and 45 deaths, the EPG number has risen from 368 points to 422, and the R number has risen from 1.02 to 1.11.