Vaccination pace picks up: 106,000 doses injected in the last 24 hours
Health Minister says that, if the commitments are fulfilled, "70% of the Catalans will be vaccinated in July"
BarcelonaThe arrival of more doses and the opening of mass vaccination points have accelerated the pace of vaccination in Catalonia. Thus, this Saturday the Health Department has reported for the first time that in one day more than 100,000 Catalans have received a dose of the vaccine against covid-19. In total, 106,000 people have been vaccinated in Catalonia in the last 24 hours: 55,877 first doses and 50,123 second doses have been injected. Thus, in total, 23.9% of Catalans have already received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 10.9% have already received the full course.
"If the commitments are met, 70% of Catalans will be vaccinated in July. At the very least, we will be close", the acting Minister of Health, Alba Vergés, said on Catalunya Ràdio. "Our obligation is to be prepared to inject all the vaccines that arrive", she added. Vergés, in fact, has indicated that during this month of May they hope "to receive double the vaccines" they have received during April and has assured that "from mid May already we will be able to begin to vaccinate people from 50 to 59".
As to when it will be decided what to do with the people under 60 who received the first dose of AstraZeneca, the Minister of Health said that "the Ministry has promoted a clinical trial to direct a different strategy other than giving a second dose of AstraZeneca to those under 60" and that, therefore, we will have to wait for the results and the decision of the Spanish state.
The data made public daily by the Department denote a certain stagnation of the pandemic: this Saturday Health has reported 1,601 new infections and 15 deaths (21,874). The EPG remains at 291 points and the R number has not changed since yesterday: 1.04. As usually happens before the weekend, the hospital pressure drops: in hospitals there are 37 fewer hospitalised (1,548), of which 486 are in the ICU (3 less than yesterday).
This Friday, the Procicat announced that from 9 May onwards the measures taken to fight against covid-19 will be eased, although experts and those responsible for Health and Home Affairs still have a week to decide what will happen with the curfew once the state of alarm is over. "On 9 May the state of alarm ends, but we have demanded legal tools the more robust the better in case fundamental rights have to be affected", said Vergés.
The acting Minister of Home Affairs, Miquel Sàmper, has expressed himself along the same lines. In an interview on RAC1, he indicated that what they are trying to do is to "have the agility to take measures" once the state of alarm has been lifted. "The Basque Country has announced that it will ask for the delegation of powers to be able to decree the state of alarm. If things go well, it won't be necessary, but if things don't go well, we must have the tools and instruments necessary to be able to protect citizens from a new outbreak", said Sàmper. The minister said that at the end of next week they will decide what happens with the curfew: "We will wait to see if the data are positive after the arrival of many vaccines this week", he added. "We have the firm intention not to take steps backwards, but to take them forwards: slowly but surely", he said, before making it clear that "we must not think that we have the pandemic under control because vaccines have arrived: we have to get used to living like this until the experts tell us that it is under control". One of the possibilities would be to maintain curfew but for fewer hours: "From now on it could be seven, six or five hours long", added Sàmper.