Only 0.37% of the population in Spain has been vaccinated against Covid-19. Vaccine delivery problems and conflicts between manufacturers and the European Commission are destroying vaccination targets in Spain. The big question is; what now?
Spain’s goal was to vaccinate 70% of the population by the end of the summer. This includes the planned vaccination by mid-March of the 2.5million people from the priority groups. Priority groups include residents and staff of nursing homes, care workers, and people dependent on care.
According to data from the Ministry of Health, as of Wednesday, 173,066 people were in this category. This equates to 0.37% of Spain´s 47.3million residents. Furthermore, only 6.9% of the group that should have been vaccinated by mid-March, has been.
Achievable targets if vaccine delivery continues
If vaccine deliveries had gone as planned, it should have been feasible for everyone within this group to be vaccinated by mid-March. However, the reality is different. Spain and other countries in Europe are running into delivery problems from the vaccine manufacturers.
Spanish regions must stop vaccinating
On Wednesday, it was announced that Madrid and Catalonia cannot keep up with the current rate of vaccination. There has been a delivery delay of Pfizer vaccines. Spain urgently needs 775,000 Pfizer vaccines within two weeks to give the people in the priority groups their second dose.
Conflict between AstraZeneca and European Commission
In addition to this problem, a conflict has arisen between AstraZeneca and the European Commission as previously ordered vaccines have not been delivered. The Spanish news site, El Independiente writes on Thursday that Spain will receive 60% fewer vaccines from the latter manufacturer in the first quarter of this year.
If AstraZeneca continues to violate the agreement with the EU, then there are few options but to enforce the previously made promise, the legal way. According to lawyers interviewed by 20minutos – this road would be a long one. Therefore, Spain must take into account that there will be a definite answer at some point. However, this could take between 2 months and a year. Such a long period is far from desirable in the in the midst of the most violent corona wave in Spain.
Doubts about AstraZeneca vaccine quality
In addition to the fact that AstraZeneca is not fulfilling its promise to deliver 80 million doses to the EU, Germany claims that the vaccine itself would be of lower quality than that of the competitor, according to Dutch media such as RTL Nieuws and NOS. The vaccine would provide a protection of only 70%. Experts claim that for people over 65 years of age, other vaccines from other pharmaceuticals would be better administered. However, medical experts from the UK disagree and report that the protection rate is almost the same as other vaccines and that it is equally safe for the elderly.