Andalucía asks for the closure of the Autonomous Communities at Easter and to extend the deadline for the administration of the second vaccine dose.
The Minister of Health and Families in Andalucía has recommended the perimeter closure of "all the autonomous communities" during the next Holy Week, in addition he is also recommending that the time between administering the first and second dose of the Covid vaccine (which in the case of Pfizer and Moderna is 21 and 28 days, respectively) is increased.
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During a speech in the regional parliament, Jesús Aguirre, Minister of Health and Families urged that more time be allowed between the first and second doses of the covid vaccine, however he went on to explain that "there has to be an agreement at the national level with the approval of the manufacturing company," as has been done in countries such as the United Kingdom or Canada.
Aguirre justified his stance by saying that it would double the number of 'primary vaccinations'", knowing that the first dose "offers a high level of immunity". If his proposal is accepted, the second dose "would be carried out when we had enough volume of vaccines."
Furthermore, Aguirre also explained that the Board has sent a petition to the Ministry of Health asking that patients with high-risk pathologies be vaccinated without delay, regardless of whether or not they fit into the at risk age groups .
This new "other risk group" will include "transplant patients, those having to undergo dialysis, people with a severely impaired immune system and those with down syndrome over 40 years of age,"
The British Strain accounts for up to 93% in Almeria
In his comments which came on the anniversary of the World Health Organization declaring Covid-19 a pandemic, Aguirre pointed out that Andalucía is currently going through a "plateau" phase, and so he has asked "the entire population for great prudence."
His recommendation on perimeter closures over the Easter period and the proposed restriction on number of people allowed to gather, may have something to do with the prevalence of the "British" strain in Andalusia (and across Spain as a whole) as well as the huge spike that we saw after the Christmas, New Year and Three King celebrations.
The British strain of the coronavirus is "right now the cause of 60 percent of all positives" registered in the autonomous community, although "in certain provinces it reaches up to 93%, as in Almería, or 70% as in Cadiz or Granada," The minister warned, stressing that it is "very important that it does not spread."
50% of over 80's in Andalucia have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 Vaccine
Aguirre also pointed out that the percentage of people currently immunised in Andalucía with vaccines represents only "3.18%" of the population "due to the small number of doses received so far," and so far only 9.73% of those over 80 years of age have had both doses, while around 50% of the age group has received the first dose.
The numbers being immunised is determined solely by the speed at which the vaccine arrives in Andalucía, in this respect has been well documented that quantities being delivered are lower than anticipated which the Ministers referred to as "a blow" however it is expected that deliveries will gather speed over the coming weeks particularly as new vaccines are authorised.