BARCELONA, Spain — Chafing below Spain’s sluggish vaccination rollout, regional well being authorities and medical doctors are urging the central authorities in Madrid to widen the classes of people that can obtain the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine.
Whereas different European international locations like Germany, France and Italy have expanded using vaccine made by the British-Swedish firm to incorporate extra aged sufferers, Spain has caught with administering it to these 55 and below.
However critics say Spain’s reluctance to make use of AstraZeneca, mixed with cargo delays of all three vaccines licensed to be used within the EU, is threatening to depart susceptible individuals uncovered. The EU up to now has accepted vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca, which all require two photographs per individual, and its regulator, the European Medicines Company, is contemplating whether or not to approve the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Thursday.
The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are presently going to these over 80 years outdated in Spain, whereas important employees 55 and below like academics and cops are getting AstraZeneca jabs.
“That has enormously compromised our vaccination technique, ” regional well being authorities in Catalonia mentioned Wednesday. “There are, for instance, academics and cops over 55 years outdated who nonetheless don’t have an opportunity to get a vaccine, whereas their youthful colleagues already do.”
When the primary coronavirus vaccines arrived in January, Spain’s authorities pledged to have vaccinated 70% of its grownup inhabitants by the summer season. Thus far, just one.4 million of Spain’s 47 million residents have been inoculated.
Catalonia and different areas, together with Madrid, say a scarcity of doses is slowing down their efforts. Spain has administered fewer than 700,000 of the 1.1 million AstraZeneca vaccines it has obtained.
An impartial society of medical doctors can be recommending that Spain change into bolder in its strategy to battling the world’s worst well being disaster in a century.
“The tempo of vaccination in Spain and different international locations may be very gradual, essentially as a result of scarcity of vaccines arriving, however probably additionally as a consequence of self-imposed hindrances attributable to an extra of prudence,” Spain’s Group of Medical Societies mentioned.
Spain is attempting to ramp up its vaccination efforts by holding campaigns for big teams just like the one organized Wednesday for 1,800 individuals over 80 within the northern city of Santo Domingo de La Calzada.
Pilar Ramirez, a 52-year-old caretaker accompanying her 93-year-old cost, mentioned she was blissful for the older people who find themselves most in danger however mentioned she had few hopes that her look forward to a shot would finish quickly.
“At my age, it appears like many months will move earlier than they provide me my vaccine,” she mentioned.
AP photographer Álvaro Barrientos contributed from Santo Domingo de La Calzada.
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Joseph Wilson, The Related Press