surinenglish

Slow Covid vaccination rate in Malaga province leaves hopes for summer up in the air

A mass vaccination session. File photograph.
A mass vaccination session. File photograph. / EUROPA PRESS
  • Only 16,500 doses were administered last week in the province. At this rate, it would take more than two years to fully vaccinate the 70 per cent target of people over the age of 16

The low number of anti-coronavirus doses distributed so far by the European Union means the target of achieving herd immunity, with 70 per cent of the population in Spain being immunised by summer, is up in the air.

In the last seven days, only 16,569 vaccines have been administered in Malaga province, a figure that represents just one per cent of the population of the province. At this rate, it would take more than two years to immunise 70 per cent of residents over the age of 16, bearing in mind that most vaccines approved so far require at least two doses.

Although the Junta de Andalucía insisted that the vaccination campaign would not stop, either on holidays or on weekends, the figures say otherwise. On Easter Friday and Saturday, only 66 vaccines were administered throughout the province.

Figures also show that the vaccines injected during the last week in Malaga constitute little more than 14 per cent of the total doses administered in Andalucía, when by population criteria it should be at least 20 per cent. But the number of doses delivered is based on the groups to be vaccinated and not the total population.

Spain’s Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, trusts that the vaccination rate will take off in this second quarter of the year, driven by deliveries such as those this Monday, when a shipment of 1.2 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived, and last Thursday, when Spain received more than one million AstraZeneca doses.

"Exciting figure"

The Junta de Andalucía this Monday (5 April) announced that the region has already injected 1.5 million doses of vaccines and 522,939 people are fully immunised with two doses. The regional president, Juanma Moreno, celebrated "the exciting figure" and said, "It is not just a number. They are stories of hope. We are the ones who vaccinate the most, but we need many more. The joy will be total when all of Andalucía is immunised.

The region, being the most populated, is the one that has received the most vaccines from the central government, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Health.

The Ministry expects that in the next three months at least 30 million doses should reach Spain that would serve to protect 24 million people, about 60 per cent of the adult population.

But the problems accumulated at the beginning of the campaign with the reduction of Pfizer deliveries for logistical reasons and the temporary suspension of the AstraZeneca formula do not invite optimism.