Illa Specifies Which Are The 15 Priority Groups To Be Vaccinated Against COVID And Explains That The Order Will Be "flexible"

Salvador Illa has appeared at a press conference this Friday first thing in the morning to give more details about the COVID-19 vaccination plan after the presentation of the plan on Tuesday. On that day, when he took it to the Council of Ministers, he only specified the three groups that will go in the first batch, from January to March, when the “initial supply” of doses is planned: toilets – residences and the rest -, users of residences, and large dependents. Today the Minister of Health has specified which are the other 12, up to 15 in total – some with subgroups -: the general population over 60 years; people who have risk conditions due to pathologies, differentiating between low and high; those who work in “closed communities or environments”; the vulnerable due to their socioeconomic situation; essential workers; teachers; children population; adolescent and young, from 16 years old; adult; people who are in high incidence areas or with specific outbreaks; pregnant and lactating mothers; and people with natural immunization for being seropositive for SARS-CoV-2.

All these groups, Illa pointed out, cover the whole of Spanish citizenship, just over 47 million inhabitants. That is, it is a population division. The minister had been asked several times throughout the week about these 15 groups, after only reporting on the first four. “In our country there will be 140 million doses to vaccinate about 80 million inhabitants,” he said, referring to all of 2021 and based on the forecasts of the pharmaceutical companies, the contracts that the European Union has signed and the distribution that it has to deal with. to Spain, “there will be vaccines for everyone.” The objective is that, to reach 100% of the Spanish, “we will see later what percentage we reach,” he said on Tuesday. The spokesperson Fernando Simón has specified on other occasions that Spain needs to vaccinate between 70 and 75% of the population to achieve group immunity.

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The order mentioned is not by which they will be vaccinated but rather it will be something “flexible” from the second stage, starting in March, in which the doses may be increased, and then from the summer on a massive scale. The technicians will assess “the characteristics of the vaccines” during these months to establish it, for now only those of that first stage are “clear”, which comprise about 2.5 million people. The idea is that there are three stages: a second from March to June in which there will be a “progressive increase” in dose, in which more population groups will enter; and a third from June, in which they expect that between the general population and groups that have not been previously included. “They will be located” while they have “more information.”

The 15 groups have been “valued” by the technicians who have prepared the document, representatives of the communities, and experts from the field of vaccinology, ethics, sociology or mathematics, although the names of the committee have not been published. And they have been decided according to four “ethical” risk criteria: according to the exposure that these groups have to the virus, comorbidity, socioeconomic impact, and the danger of transmission. There will be “equity and the necessary flexibility to adapt to the different stages.” And he wanted to emphasize again that “the vaccines that will receive authorization will enjoy all the safety and efficacy requirements.” The four pharmaceutical companies that already have it closed with the EU are Oxford / AstraZeneca; Johnson & Johnson / Janssen; Sanofi / GSK; and BioN-Tech / Pfizer. Those that are in very advanced negotiations are CureVac –only the signature remains, the government’s plan already confirms it–, Moderna and Noravax. Spain has 10% of the doses sold to the EU, by population size. From Pfizer, for example, it’s 20 million of the total 200 million. Adding up all the pharmaceutical companies, the figure of the 140 million doses that Illa pointed out comes out, although it must be taken into account that all except Johnson & Johnson’s are double doses, that is, two doses separated in time from each other are needed to immunize a person.

The Government has reserved for everything, procurement and logistics, 1,011 million euros from the General State Budget project.

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