One million vaccines waiting in the fridge
Health to give away tickets to shows to encourage immunisation of under-40s
BarcelonaIn Catalonia there are a million people who could be vaccinated right now and have not yet done so. And despite the fact that the Department of Health considers that the goal set by the Spanish government to immunise more than 90% of the population is "very ambitious and difficult", the department wants to reach as many people as possible, vaccinating between 85 and 90% of Catalans. Of particular concern now is the 20-39 age group, a third of whom have not yet been vaccinated, even though they have been eligible for vaccination for two months, and are at risk of suffering a serious case of covid and ending up in hospital. As recalled by the Secretary of Public Health, Carmen Cabezas, in Catalunya Ràdio, during the fifth wave there have been 2,500 admissions of people under 39 years, of which 319 ended up in ICUs and 9 died.
To increase the vaccination rate in these ages, Health uses all available options: personal phone calls to all those who have not been vaccinated, vaccination points in universities -the first, the UAB, starts this Wednesday-, campaigns with influencers, and a discount policy on cultural and leisure activities for those vaccinated. As she explained in Catalunya Ràdio, the Government is considering offering "incentives" to people who are immunised, such as discounts at concerts, theaters or hostels. Now it is looking for a "fair" formula which does not involve discrimination between those who are vaccinated now and those who have already been vaccinated.
All this, while the Catalan executive insists that the Spanish government regulate the covid certificate for access to establishments or events because now everyone who has wanted to has been able to be immunised. Cabezas insisted that it has to be a state strategy, after some communities that had announced it have had to backtrack because the courts have overturned their plans.
Nightlife warning: priority is to "open" schools "well"
Nightlife, however, will remain closed for the moment, because the priority is to ensure the return to school and university. Although epidemiological data indicate that we are coming out of the fifth wave, there are still 938 people hospitalised due to covid (21 less than Monday), of whom 316 are in the ICU (five less than yesterday). The speed of transmission of the virus (R number) remains at 0.75 (every 100 infected infect 75 people) and the EPG recedes to 104, seven points less than yesterday. Cabezas has not specified whether clubs can reopen when there are 100 critical patients in wards, but said that this figure would indicate that covid "is a disease and not the disease". "All efforts are focused on vaccination to open schools properly on the 13th", she insisted. In this sense, almost half of the population aged 12 to 19 years, the last to begin vaccination, are already immunised: 66.5% have the first dose and 41.1% both.
Both the nightlife employers' association and the Barcelona City Council, among other actors, have called in recent days for the reopening of nightclubs in order to sponge the streets and avoid street drinking parties, which in recent weeks have left images of crowds and people without distances or face masks. The secretary, however, has ensured that so far these parties have not had a direct impact on infections. This Tuesday 743 new infections and 50 deaths have been reported, most of them corresponding to previous days that had not yet been reported.