March 1, 2021

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Madrid and Catalonia to pause coronavirus vaccinations as jabs run out

2 min read
Madrid will stop giving first-dose jabs for two weeks while Catalonia warns shots will run out by Monday.

Madrid and Catalonia, two of Spain’s most populous regions, are warning their vaccination campaigns will be interrupted as they are running out of shots.

Madrid’s Deputy Health Minister Ignacio Aguado said Wednesday the region would stop giving out first-dose jabs for at least 14 days and concentrate on second doses. Madrid had administered nearly 170,000 jabs as of Tuesday, 96 percent of all doses received.

Speaking at a press conference, Aguado warned that at the current pace, it “would take until 2023” to meet the Spanish and EU targets of vaccinating 70 percent of the population. He called on Spain’s new Health Minister Carolina Darias to increase pressure on the European Commission to speed up the distribution and production of vaccines.

“We must stand up in Brussels so they send more doses,” Aguado said. “We need more vaccines and more tests and everything that is not focusing on this task will prolong the fight against the virus.”

Catalonia, meanwhile, has administered more than 200,000 shots, having received a total of 217,000 doses to date. The remainder will run out by Monday, said Josep Maria Argimon, a senior public health official at the Catalan government. The region has been hit not just by a cut in Pfizer/BioNTech doses, but also by the delay of a batch of 8,500 Moderna jabs scheduled for this week, which will not arrive until next week.

Argimon said this means “10,000 people who received the first dose three weeks ago will not be able to receive the second” within the 21 days recommended by experts, but he still hopes second doses will be administered within 42 days, the maximum timeframe recommended by Pfizer.

He also expressed doubts about Catalonia’s ability to meet Spain’s goal of vaccinating 70 percent of its population by end of June.

“It is a wish to reach the 70 percent of the population vaccinated but we would have to know when we can have the vaccines and the pace at which they will arrive” in order to plan the process, he said.

Source: POLITICO https://www.politico.eu/article/madrid-and-catalonia-halt-coronavirus-vaccinations-as-jabs-run-out/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication

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