Less than 0.5% of people who could have been vaccinated in Canary Islands has refused to receive the prick that will protect them against the coronavirus. This is a much lower volume than the authorities had anticipated, since just a few weeks before the vaccination campaign began, 16.7% of the population assured that they would not be vaccinated in any case, as confirmed by the Barometer carried out by the Center for Sociological Research (CIS) on December 4. Health sees the reception of the vaccine as an authentic achievement, and it is not for less, because the Canary Islands are one of the Spanish regions with the lowest rejection rate to inoculation.
The average in Spain stands at 2% and in some communities, such as Aragon, it has reached 5% in users of their residences. In the case of workers, the percentage grew to 14%. In this time, the predisposition of the population to get vaccinated has changed, but there are still people who prefer not to get it. According to a survey by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (Fecyt) published yesterday, the population that rejects the vaccine it is below 10% in recent months, when in October this figure reached 32%.
Factors that influence vaccine reluctance include distrust in the health system and agreeing with conspiracy theories. In January, these two factors increased their importance in explaining vaccine reluctance compared to July 2020. In fact, the anti-vaccination debate at the end of summer increased doubts and reluctance towards vaccination among the Spanish population.
Help reinforce this good data and low proportion of dissidents the low rate of patients affected and the mildness of secondary effects after inoculation both in the institutionalized population and in health professionals. “No serious effects are being seen,” said Begoña Reyero, the coordinating nurse of the Vaccination Plan in the Canary Islands, who admitted that there have been cases of headaches, low-grade fever and pain in the arm after the injection but that, in any case, they are symptoms similar to those generated by the flu vaccine. These data are consistent with those provided in the first Pharmacovigilance Report on Vaccines Covid-19, published by the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (Aemps), which indicates that on January 12, 374 reports of adverse events, which represents 0.07% of the total vaccinated at that time. The most frequent effects included general disorders (fever, malaise), central nervous system problems (headache, dizziness) and digestive system (nausea, diarrhea).
In total, more than 50,000 people have completed the vaccination schedule in the Canary Islands, being the only Spanish community that already has more vaccinated with the two doses than infected people diagnosed; a total of 50,200 people compared to the 39,213 accumulated cases of coronavirus. “The vaccination rate is above the average for the country,” said the head of the Epidemiology section of the regional government, Amos García Rojas, who recalled that there is “a very high percentage of what we have administered compared to what we arrives”. Specifically, the Canary Islands have administered 81.5% of the doses, that is, 111,897, which “puts us in a fairly adequate position when it comes to understanding that we are on the right track.”
The experts appeared yesterday morning at an informative meeting in relation to the processes, organization and types of vaccines that are currently being used in the Canary Islands. In this meeting they insisted that, although vaccines are the way to end this situation, in the Islands “there are still kilometers to reach the end of the tunnel,” as García Rojas indicated, so it is necessary maintain protective measures for a longer time. In this sense, they assured that “we will try to achieve group immunity, in 70%, as soon as possible”, but García Rojas admitted that “it is difficult for the objective to be met before summer.” The experts announced that, in the coming months, there will be a progressive opening of the centers for the elderly, given that they are already 100% vaccinated. However, they insisted that it is necessary to “continue protecting them”, which is why they are not immediately recovering visits to centers or users’ outings.
The day also gave time to discuss some measures that could be imposed to reactivate tourism. In this sense, both experts agreed to warn that imposing a vaccination card or passport to travel without PCR, as Madeira plans to impose to relaunch its economy, is not the most convenient at this time. “Scientific evidence tells us that the vaccine protects us, but not that we cannot be carriers, so it is necessary to maintain the measures,” said Begoña Reyero, who indicated that “it is important not to associate vaccinated with a person free of Covid.” Likewise, García Rojas insisted that “a measure associated with a vaccination that is not mandatory cannot be imposed as mandatory”. And, likewise, he remarked that, today, there are many differences in vaccination between rich and developing countries, so a measure like this would further deepen the gap between the two.