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.