Vaccination programme grinds to a halt

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MADRID: Delivery issues are affecting the vaccination programme. Madrid and Catalonia will halt their programmes for two weeks as vaccine supplies dry up.

Low vaccine stock means Madrid will stop vaccinating against Covid-19 for two weeks. In Catalonia, the freezers will already be empty by Thursday (28th January). The Spanish government’s and manufacturers’s promised deliveries have failed to arrive.

Spanish news site Voz Populí reports that the Madrid vice-president Aguado announced on Wednesday that the vaccination programme will be stopped for two weeks. The region cannot continue with the current rate of vaccination due to low delivery rates.

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At the current pace Madrid’s vaccination programme will not be complete until 2023

The Spanish government promised 180,000 doses for Madrid, but “unfortunately” a lot fewer reached the destination. According to Aguado, Madrid has had to make do for weeks on fewer doses. Aguado said it is “impossible to vaccinate 70% of Madrid by the end of June. With current deliveries, Madrid can only vaccinate 10% of the region’s residents. We will be working at the current pace until 2023. It is precisely for this reason that we are requesting help from the new Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, to discuss this problem with Brussels. ”

Freezers in Catalonia already empty 

The situation is even more dire in Catalonia. Catalan regional minister of health, Josep Maria Argimon, said the doses for his region will be used by Thursday. With the current supply, only some of the previously vaccinated elderly and care workers are able to receive their second vaccination. 10,000 people from this target group will not receive the second dose. “The freezers will be empty tomorrow. Moderna is experiencing delays in delivering their vaccines, Pfizer is sending less than promised and AstraZeneca is silent,” said Argimon.

Vaccine delivery delays are not only affecting these two regions. Spanish news site wrote on Wednesday that all Spanish regions are expected to receive fewer vaccines than previously promised. Fortunately, some regions have built up stocks so they will not run into problems with the speed of vaccination. Nonetheless, the brand-new Health Minister can expect another setback during the pandemic.

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