The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine has already arrived in Spain. As reported by the Ministry of Health, there are 196,800 doses of this serum, which will begin to be applied to active health and social-health professionals not included in the first phase of immunization.
This Friday, Health announced that the aforementioned vaccine will not be administered to the population over 55 years of age. The reason for leaving these groups out of its application is that during the tests the population samples of these ages were not sufficiently representative, so there is no guarantee that the drug is effective enough in them. This could change at some point: “The expectation is that this is the case. Possibly, in a while we will have evidence, because in the United Kingdom they are using it. But while, in my opinion, you cannot recommend it.” This is Amós García Rojas, president of the Spanish Association of Vaccination.
Like Spain, countries such as Germany and France have ruled out the application of the vaccine in the elderly. The arrival of these sera occurs after their authorization in persons over 18 years of age by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the approval of the European Commission.
That the elderly population cannot be vaccinated with AstraZeneca is “one more stick in the wheel”, in the words of José Antonio Forcada, general secretary of the Spanish Association of Vaccines (AEV) and president of Nursing and Vaccines (ANENVAC). It would be easier to use it, adds García Rojas, because its logistics are much simpler: it does not need deep freezing (like Pfizer and Moderna) or for the toilet to mix serums (like Pfizer).
Spain has two objectives against COVID-19. One in the short term – having vaccinated before April all users of residences, toilets and large dependents and at least 80% of those over 80 years old – and the other, in the medium term: having immunized 70% of the population –35 million people– for the summer. In the first of the two cases, we speak of more than 4.5 million people and now, after a month from the start of the vaccination, about 700,000 have completed the treatment, so there are still more than 3.5 million .
The problem to meet the objectives is corrected, in any case, with planning: “we will use the ones we already have for all those over 55, and those from AstraZeneca for those at risk under 55. And the toilets that are not in first class remain line, there are many people to be vaccinated. That will be specified in the Interterritorial Council “, says Forcada. In that meeting between the communities and the Ministry, it is still necessary to define which will be the next groups after those over 80, or whether or not the turn of young people with risky pathologies is brought forward.