Misc 16/01/2021

Spanish Health Minister forecasts "70% of the population will be vaccinated by summer"

Salvador Illa acknowledges "we are in a third wave", but not due to the British variant

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L'Esteve Font, un usuari de 93 anys de la residencia Gent Gran de Creu de Palau de Girona, en el moment de rebre la vacuna contra el covid-19. Imatge del 27 de desembre del 2020

BarcelonaThe Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, has assured that "70% of the population will be vaccinated by the summer". At least this is the objective of the Spanish government and, according to Illa, it is totally feasible because "the rate of vaccination is optimal". The minister was convinced, despite the fact that all indicators show quite the opposite: an average of 32,000 people are vaccinated every day in Spain -when the initial forecasts were that there would be 121,000-, and furthermore we are in a third wave and next week Pfizer will supply only 56% of the planned doses of their vaccine in Spain.

"Spain is the ninth country in the world in terms of vaccination. The strategy works -the minister was pleased-. We will achieve that 70% of the population is vaccinated by the summer". Illa has not dwelled on the fact that Pfizer announced yesterday that it will only be able to supply 56% of the doses planned for next week in Spain. According to the minister, this is a temporary readjustment, since the last week of January the number of doses supplied by the company will return to the initial forecast, and may even increase. Until now, Spain received 350,000 doses per week, and in Catalonia this was 60,000.

This Saturday, however, the minister has not provided any data. In other words, he has not said how many doses will be received in the coming weeks and how many will go to each autonomous community. It is therefore unclear how many people will be able to be immunised in the coming weeks. What Illa has made clear is that the people who received the first dose at the end of December and who are due to receive the second dose next week will be given it without any problem. But he has not provided any concrete figures either.

The Minister acknowledged that "we are in a third wave". In fact, he was emphatic: "The situation is very worrying", he even said. In spite of this, he has once again ruled out the possibility of the Spanish government decreeing a total lockdown, as requested by some autonomous communities. Illa considers that the state of emergency approved by the Spanish government, which will last until May 6, is sufficient for the autonomous communities to establish the necessary restrictions to stop the contagion chain.

According to the minister, this exponential increase in cases is not due to the presence of the British covid variant in Spain. In fact, Illa said that so far only "just over a hundred cases" of the British strain have been detected, despite the fact that there are "several hundred suspects under study". Illa attributes the increase in coronavirus cases to social gatherings during the Christmas holidays.

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