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Vaccine reduces infection in care homes but lack of supplies delays over-80s jabs

Vaccine reduces infection in care homes but lack of supplies delays over-80s jabs
/ EFE
  • All seniors' residences in Malaga province have given out the two doses to both residents and staff who have given their consent

The positive effects of the Covid-19 vaccination roll out inside care homes in the region is already showing, with contagions falling "to a minimum" in the last few weeks.

All seniors' residences in Malaga province have given out the two doses to both residents and staff who have given their consent.

Andalusian health service sources have confirmed that after the first dose was administered, the effects were already starting to be seen, and officials are now looking to see the results of the roll out to the over-80s not in care homes, which started last week.

Although no firm data has been published yet on the vaccine effectiveness, the evidence is of a drop-off of new cases in care homes. However part of the fall in the care-home rate is also being attributed to the decline in case rates overall in the last few weeks and the fact that so many homes were hit in the earlier waves.

Reinfections after the two Pfizer doses have not been noticed either. In the Malaga city and Guadalhorce health district, for example, only "four or five" cases among vaccinated residence workers have been reported. "They tested positive after being vaccinated but didn't infect anyone," a source said.

Plan 500,000

The Junta de Andalucía expects to reach the summer with half of the population vaccinated as part of its Plan 500,000 to give out half a million jabs a week.

But Minister of Health Jesús Aguirre warned that the vaccination plan "is for several months, or possibly for a year or more".

According to Aguirre, the Junta's Covid vaccination strategy is working well, delivering an average of 150,000 doses per week, and it is expected that at the end of April or the beginning of May there will be a big increase in the delivery of vaccines.

Delays

Despite the positive news, the vaccination of people over 80 years who do not live in care homes in Andalucía was affected this week as the region received only half of the planned doses from Pfizer.

Some Malaga health centres had to postpone the vaccination of the elderly and were calling patients to notify them that they will receive the injection on another date, once the supply gets back to normal next week.

Nursing staff consulted by SUR have said that they were contacting people who had an appointment from Wednesday onwards to inform them that, due to the lack of doses, they would not be able to give them the vaccine as scheduled and that they will be inoculated next week if enough vials arrive.

The major obstacle faced by the health centres in Malaga is that they receive very few vaccines (about 30 per centre per day) for the elderly population. Sources consulted by SUR said that in two days, or at most in three, all elderly people could be vaccinated if there were enough doses.

Health professionals said: "We do everything we can. We have plenty of capacity to give the injections."