AstraZeneca vaccine snubbed AGAIN as Spain stops distributing and buying Oxford jab
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Spain will not receive or distribute more doses of AstraZeneca. According to the Ministry of Health, regions have all the necessary injections to immunise all the people who have already received the first dose of AstraZeneca.
This vaccine is only injected in the age group between 60 and 69, and 78 percent have already received both doses.
In total, around one million people in their sixties still need to receive the second dose.
Spain has reportedly not received the British vaccine in more than two weeks.
Although 31 million doses of AstraZeneca were purchased in the initial contract, only 10 million have been received. The remaining doses will be donated to the Covax mechanism.
In Spain, AstraZeneca was also destined for essential workers, a group that has already been vaccinated.
In May, the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, announced that the European Union would not renew the contract with the pharmaceutical company beyond June.
AstraZeneca’s problems in complying with the distribution stipulated in the contract with the EU confronted the company with the European Commission for months.
It was expected that during the first quarter of the year it would deliver 120 million doses to the member states and it only distributed 30 million.
This week Spain is expected to reach 50 percent vaccination coverage against COVID-19, according to Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, while infections continue to increase in the fifth wave and hospitalisations and ICU admissions also rise.
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The Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, has indicated that the next challenge will be to provide a booster vaccine and extend vaccination to minors between 6 and 12 years old.
She has insisted that the priority remains to reach 70 percent of the vaccinated population before the end of August and to continue with the rest of the population, placing “special emphasis on young people and teenagers before the school year begins.”
Spain reported a new jump in its COVID-19 infection rate on Monday, with 61,628 cases registered since Friday, just as fully vaccinated British holidaymakers flocked to its beaches, giving hope to the hard-hit tourism sector.
Since July 8, when Britain announced the lifting of a 10-day quarantine for returning vaccinated tourists from July 19, flight bookings to Spain have increased four-fold even though they remain far below 2019 levels, an airlines industry group said.
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In a roller-coaster tourist season, Germany and France have already advised their citizens against travelling to Spain, where a steep rise in COVID-19 cases has pushed some Spanish regions to reimpose curfews.
The 14-day infection rate rose to 600 per 100,000 people on Monday from 537 on Friday, health ministry data showed. Spain also reported 23 deaths since Friday, bringing the coronavirus death toll to 81,119.
Still, deaths and hospitalisations have been lower than in previous waves thanks to a high rate of vaccination, which reached half of the population on Monday.
Businesses that depend on tourism, including a pharmacy on the island of Gran Canaria where Patrizia Abate works, are still cautious about prospects after some countries reimposed restrictions.
“We feel sorry for the Dutch, who we don’t see at the moment anymore, but we are seeing an improvement in German arrivals compared to June. And let’s see if the British start to improve business. We are hoping for it,” Abate said.
More than 2.3 million passengers arrived in Spain in June 2021 from international airports, the highest figure since the beginning of the pandemic.
The number was still down 76 percent from June 2019, however.
“People have to get on with their lives and make their own decisions, especially if you have been vaccinated… with precautions but, you know, sensible,” said Tilly, a tourist who had just arrived in Malaga from England.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega
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