Delayed start for the Junta's plan to mass vaccinate half a million people a week

In the region some 836,656 vaccines have been administered to date. File photograph.
In the region some 836,656 vaccines have been administered to date. File photograph. / SUR
  • The Junta's health minister has also announced he is seeking permission from Madrid to use the AstraZeneca vaccine for people up to the age of 65 - instead of the current 55 age limit set nationally

The Junta de Andalucía has proposed vaccinating people up to 65 years of age with doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, something the region's Minister of Health, Jesús Aguirre, has called on Madrid to allow.

At present the national guidelines stipulate that the AstraZeneca formula should only be used to inject people under the age of 55.

According to Aguirre the objective is "to avoid leaving a large number of security forces and teachers, between 55 and 65 years old, without a vaccination.”

Aguirre has also called on Madrid to make sure that people whose pathologies make them more vulnerable to Covid be considered "priority" in the vaccination queue, such as "people with Down's syndrome over the age of 40, immunosuppressed patients, those undergoing cancer treatment and those who have had transplants.

The minister also warned that the Plan 500,000 to vaccinate half a million people a week will not be activated until April or May since it is not expected that sufficient doses will arrive in the region to enable the mass vaccination until then.

Aguirre said he regretted the low volume of doses that continues to arrive in Andalucía and announced that during the month of March there will be no increase compared to February, so that with the current delivery of vaccines "it is difficult" to comply with the planned programme.

The health minister detailed that a total 1,022,130 vaccines have been received, so far, in Andalucía.

Some 179,300 doses arrived this week, of which 72,220 are Pfizer, 37,700 are from Moderna and 64,400 are from AstraZeneca, "much fewer" than announced by Spain’s Ministry of Health.

In addition, he said that 836,656 vaccines have been administered to date. In care homes, 99 per cent of residents have had the first dose and about 85 per cent have also had the second injection. In people over 80 years of age, the first dose has been administered to 43 per cent and the second dose to only 5.41 per cent. More than 50 per cent of teachers have already received the first dose.