CategorySpain

Spain’s Covid-19 vaccination drive meets second major target of immunizing 10m people by first week of June

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As the fall in transmission rates continues to slow, health authorities are rushing to vaccinate younger people, who play a key role in the spread of the coronavirus. Every region is now scheduling shots for the 40-49 age group

As of today, all of Spain’s 17 regions are on their way to vaccinating the 40-49 age group against Covid-19. This demographic is receiving the BioNTech-Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, which are both based on RNA messenger technology, as well as the medication from Janssen, which only requires one dose. Which of these vaccines is administered to people in this age group depends on the availability of the doses in each region, which are responsible for their own vaccination drives and for containing the pandemic in their territories. Madrid had been lagging behind the other regions, but on Tuesday began to send appointments out to the 40-49 age group and is due to begin administering shots to this segment on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the overall vaccination drive is continuing to gather pace. Last week, 5.1 million doses arrived in Spain – the largest shipment since the campaign began in late December – and of this figure, 3.1 million were administered. Indeed, the country on Friday met the central government’s second vaccination target: to have 10 million people fully vaccinated by the first week of June. The first goal was to have five million people fully vaccinated by the first week of May, an objective it surpassed. Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 30 million shots have been administered and around 42% of the entire population has received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine (nearly 50% of the over-16s – see graph below).

https://english.elpais.com/society/2021-06-08/spains-covid-19-vaccination-drive-meets-second-major-target-of-immunizing-10m-people-by-first-week-of-june.html

Back to the beach: Spain welcomes all vaccinated tourists from June 7

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Tourist magnet Spain will let people from anywhere in the world who are vaccinated against COVID-19 enter the country from June 7, hoping to galvanise a recovery in the devastated tourism sector.

The world’s second most visited country before the pandemic hit, foreign tourism to Spain plunged 80% last year as restrictions brought leisure travel to a virtual standstill, leaving its beaches, palaces and hotels almost deserted.

Entry will be allowed to vaccinated travellers regardless of their country of origin, and notably from the United States, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced on Friday at Madrid’s FITUR international tourism trade fair.

Spain will also permit tourists from 10 non-EU countries deemed low-risk to enter without a negative PCR test for coronavirus from May 24.

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/spain-let-vaccinated-travellers-non-eu-countries-june-7-2021-05-21/

New vaccination record in Spain: 611,767 doses administered in one day

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New vaccination record in Spain. In the last day, 611,767 doses have been administered , according to the latest daily report from the Ministry of Health on the progress of the campaign, corresponding to this Friday. A record number of vaccinations that comes after several days in which the daily immunization rate seemed to have slowed down.

To date, 21,683,707 vaccines against the coronavirus have been given in our country. Thus, according to Health data, 6,976,683 Spaniards already have the complete vaccination schedule (260,527 more than the day before), while 14.9 million citizens already have at least one dose.

Thus, 31.4% of the population already has at least one dose of the vaccine, while 14.7% have already completed the administration regimen. If calculated on the total population to be vaccinated, these percentages amount to 36.3% with at least one dose and 16.7% with the complete immunization schedule.

https://www.lasexta.com/noticias/nacional/nuevo-record-vacunacion-espana-611767-dosis-administradas-dia_20210514609ecf8d90e01200018673c3.html

Weekly Covid-19 deaths in Spain fall 90% since start of vaccination campaign

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Spain is starting to gain ground over the coronavirus. According to the latest Health Ministry report, infections remain at very high levels, coming in on Wednesday at 173 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the last 14 days. But the progress of the vaccination drive and the restrictions that have been in place to slow the spread of the virus have softened the effects of Covid-19 on the worst parameter of the pandemic: the number of deaths.

Since the vaccination program began to take effect at the start of the year, the numbers of Covid-19 victims have fallen dramatically. The effect of the vaccines, which protect people from serious illness and death, as well as the fall in transmission due to social restrictions, have accelerated this descent. Since the end of January, weekly Covid-19 deaths have gone down by 90%.

Spain was dealing with the third wave of the virus when the first vaccines were administered on December 27, 2020. The first round of shots was more symbolic than anything else: 10,000 doses that were distributed in senior residences, which suffered the most from the effects of the virus and as such were top of the list when it came to who should get protection first.

The vaccines used at the start required two doses and the first shot did not start to take effect until 15 days after its administration. By the end of January, just when the third wave peaked with 900 cases per 100,000 inhabitants on January 27, the first injections began to have an effect and deaths, in particular in senior residences, began to fall.

According to data from the Imserso institute for seniors and social services, in the last week of January 778 elderly people died in care homes due to Covid-19. But in recent months, and with such places completely protected, the number of victims in such centers has plummeted: just six deaths between April 26 and May 2, the last week for which there is consolidated data.

https://english.elpais.com/society/2021-05-13/weekly-covid-19-deaths-in-spain-fall-90-since-start-of-vaccination-campaign.html

One in four Spaniards has had one dose of COVID-19 vaccine

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One in four Spaniards has now had one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, health authorities said on Monday, as the country speeds up its inoculation programme.

In total, 12,162,359 people have received one dose of one of the four vaccines being used in Spain – or 25.6% of the population of 47 million.

Some 5,098,903 people have had both doses of the vaccine, or 11% of the population.

Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said last month he expected 70% of the population to be vaccinated by the end of August.

The country’s two-week coronavirus contagion rate fell to 223 cases per 100,000 people on Monday compared with 229 on Friday, according to health ministry data.

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/one-four-spaniards-has-had-one-dose-covid-19-vaccine-2021-05-03/

‘No sign’ of infection after Barcelona Covid-19 concert trial

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There has been “no sign” of coronavirus infection among 5,000 unvaccinated people who took part in an indoor trial concert last month in Barcelona seeking pandemic-safe ways to celebrate mass events, organisers said on Tuesday (April 27).

The participants underwent PCR tests two weeks after the March 27 event and “there is no sign that suggests transmission took place during the event”, Mr Josep Maria Llibre, a specialist in infectious diseases from the Germans Trias i Pujol hospital told a news conference.

Organised by the hospital and a group of Spanish music promoters, the concert in the Palau de Sant Jordi was billed as Europe’s biggest indoor rock concert since the start of the pandemic.

https://www.straitstimes.com/world/europe/no-sign-of-infection-after-barcelona-covid-concert-trial

European regulator says Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is ‘safe and effective’

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The European Union’s medicines agency has said the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine is “safe and effective” to use following an investigation into reports of blood clots in a small number of recipients.

The decision by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) comes after more than a dozen European countries – including Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, France and Sweden – halted the vaccine’s rollout over clotting fears.

The EMA said the benefits outweigh the risks – and the vaccine is not linked to an “overall risk” of blood clots.

However, the agency’s safety committee has also said it can’t rule out a potential link with a “small number of cases” of a rare clotting disorder occurring after the vaccination.

It has therefore recommended that governments “raise awareness” of the possible effects by including them in product information.

https://news.sky.com/story/covid-19-european-regulator-says-oxford-astrazeneca-vaccine-is-safe-and-effective-12249663

The E.U. begins its vaccine rollout, aiming to inoculate more than 450 million people

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From nursing homes in France to hospitals in Poland, older Europeans and the workers who care for them rolled up their sleeves on Sunday to receive coronavirus vaccine shots in a campaign to inoculate more than 450 million people across the European Union.

The inoculations offered a rare respite as the continent struggles with one of its most precarious moments since the pandemic began.

Despite national lockdowns, restrictions on movement, shuttering of restaurants and cancellations of Christmas gatherings, the virus has stalked Europe into the dark winter months. The spread of a more contagious variant of the virus in Britain has raised such alarm that much of continental Europe rushed to close its borders to travelers coming from the country, effectively plunging the nation as a whole into quarantine.

“Today, we start turning the page on a difficult year,” Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president wrote on Twitter. “The #COVID19 vaccine has been delivered to all EU countries.”

For Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of Italy, the vaccine’s arrival could not come soon enough. Italy’s suffering at the outset of the pandemic served as a warning for the world, and the current death toll is again among the worst in Europe.

“Today Italy reawakens. It’s #VaccineDay,” he wrote on Twitter after a 29-year-old nurse at Rome’s Spallanzani hospital was the first person to be inoculated. “This date will remain with us forever.”

The nurse, Claudia Alivernini, said she hoped the vaccination campaign would signal “the beginning of the end” of the pandemic.

In Spain, a 96-year-old great-grandmother, Araceli Rosario Hidalgo, was the first to receive the vaccine. The Los Olmos nursing home, where she lives, is in Guadalajara,  a city that has a special storage facility where the first doses of the vaccine were delivered on Saturday, transported from Belgium.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez wrote on Twitter that the  vaccinations marked “a hopeful new chapter.”

Similar scenes played out across the continent, although not every member of the bloc followed the rollout plans. In Germany, a nursing home in the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt jumped the gun, inoculating dozens of residents and staff members on Saturday, hours after the doses arrived. Officials in the Netherlands said they planned to begin vaccinations on Jan. 8.

But all E.U. member nations now have a supply of vaccine on hand to distribute.

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2020/12/27/world/covid-19-coronavirus-updatesHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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EU launches mass Covid-19 vaccination push in ‘moment of unity’

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European Union nations have launched a co-ordinated effort to give Covid-19 vaccinations to adults among their 450 million citizens.

Shots were administered on Sunday morning to the most vulnerable people, healthcare workers who take care of them, and some politicians to reassure the public that the vaccinations are safe.

The vaccines, developed by Germany’s BioNTech and American drug maker Pfizer, started arriving in EU countries on Friday. The EU has seen some of the world’s earliest and hardest-hit virus hot spots, including Italy and Spain.

Others EU countries, like the Czech Republic, were spared the worst early on only to see their healthcare systems near collapse in the autumn.

Altogether, the EU’s 27 nations have recorded at least 16 million coronavirus cases and more than 336,000 deaths – huge numbers that experts still agree understate the true toll of the pandemic due to missed cases and limited testing.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen released a video celebrating the vaccine rollout, calling it “a touching moment of unity”.

https://www.lbc.co.uk/news/eu-launches-mass-covid-19-vaccination-push-moment-unity/HELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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US, Germany and UK could start Covid vaccinations as early as December

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As G20 leaders pledged to ensure the equitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, drugs and tests so that poorer countries are not left out, the US, UK and Germany each announced plans to begin vaccinations in their countries in December, while Spain said it would start administering the vaccine to its citizens in January.

Britain could give regulatory approval to Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine as early as this week, even before the US authorises it, the UK’s Telegraph newspaper reported on Sunday. Pfizer and BioNTech could secure emergency US and European authorisation for their Covid-19 vaccine next month after final trial results showed a 95% success rate and no serious side effects.

Moderna last week released preliminary data for its vaccine showing 94.5% effectiveness.

The better-than-expected results from the two vaccines, both developed with new messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, have raised hopes of an easing of a pandemic that has killed more than 1.3 million people.

In the US, the head of the US vaccine program, Moncef Slaoui, said the first Americans to receive a vaccine could get it as soon as 11 December, CNN reported on Sunday.

“Our plan is to be able to ship vaccines to the immunisation sites within 24 hours from the approval, so I expect maybe on day two after approval on the 11th or the 12th of December,” he said in an interview to CNN.

Citing government sources, the Telegraph also said the UK’s National Health Service had been told to be ready to administer it by 1 December.

Britain formally asked its medical regulator, the MHRA, last week to assess the suitability of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The UK Department of Health had no comment on Sunday on when the first vaccinations would be administered.

Britain has ordered 40m doses and expects to have 10m doses, enough to protect 5 million people, available by the end of the year if regulators approve it.

Germany could also start administering shots of Covid-19 vaccines as soon as next month, health minister Jens Spahn was quoted as saying on Sunday. He said Spain and Germany were the first European Union countries to have a complete vaccination plan in place.

“There is reason to be optimistic that there will be approval for a vaccine in Europe this year,” Spahn said in an interview with publishing group RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland. “And then we can start right away.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/23/us-germany-and-uk-could-start-covid-vaccinations-as-early-as-decemberHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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