By bus, without an appointment and with Janssen: this is how the Health Dpt wants to strengthen vaccination among the over-40s

From Wednesday onwards medicalised vehicles will be deployed in the neighbourhoods with less vaccinated population

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Carmen Cabezas and Josep Maria Argimon at their mobile vaccination point

BarcelonaThe vaccination campaign will also be carried out in buses and trucks to target the population over 40 who are reluctant to receive the vaccine, who have problems with the language or do not know how, or cannot make an appointment to be vaccinated digitally. Right now, the 40 to 49 age bracket is the one that worries health authorities the most, because it is the one that most easily enters intensive care units (ICU). To avoid this, the Health minister, Josep Maria Argimon, has presented on Monday the new strategy of immunisation in mobile spots with vehicles that have been ceded by the Blood and Tissues Bank and the automobile company Seat.

In these cases the vaccination will be without an appointment - the dose will be received by queuing up until the vials run out - and Janssen will be used, since it is a single-dose vaccine and the full course is acquired more quickly. Argimon has announced that from Wednesday onwards fully medicalised vehicles will be installed in areas where less vaccine coverage is detected, starting with Barcelona city (in the Born), the northern metropolitan area, and the Terres de l'Ebre.

The Health Dpt expects that next week the initiative can be extended to Baix Llobregat, Vallès Occidental and Oriental and Girona, although the idea is that the teams are rolling throughout the territory. "It is important to reach everyone as soon as possible, including the most vulnerable people, who still find it difficult to go to a vaccination spot or primary care centres", Argimon emphasised.

Up to 1,400 doses

The Generalitat will have up to six mobile units that, depending on the vehicle, will have a capacity to administer between 1,000 and 1,400 vaccines a day. In addition, the Blood and Tissue Bank and Seat not only put the vehicles, but also provide professional teams to administer the doses.

Specifically, the Blood and Tissue Bank buses will vaccinate at several spots in the northern metropolitan area during the next 15 days, every day of the week, while another will do so on Wednesday in Terres de l'Ebre. Each bus will have a team of two nurses, a technician and two administrative staff and will have a capacity to administer vaccines to 600 people from 9 am to 8 pm. As for the Seat trucks, which are used in competitions and have been adapted for health use, doses will be administered without prior appointment, in the morning and afternoon, every day of the week. The first one will start on Wednesday in Barcelona and more will be used in the upcoming days.

The mobile units will be placed in strategic locations in the cities and in neighbourhoods where the vaccination rate is lower and the Secretary of Public Health, Carmen Cabezas, has pointed out that the location will be announced only at the local level "because it is not a generalised appeal, but to get closer to the people who need it most". Cabezas has highlighted "the good response of citizens", since 75% of people in the 40-year age group have received at least one dose, but she assured that this percentage must be increased and second doses must be given to double the curve.