The anti-vaccine director of a day center in Oiartzun (Gipuzkoa), Aiton-Etxe, has placed herself above the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the Ministry of Health and the Basque Health Service (Osakidetza) and has sent a circular to the families of the users in which it informs them that “it has been decided not to administer” the vaccine against COVID-19, which it does not even call by name. In his writing he alludes, among other arguments, to “serious short-term side effects”, to the fact that it is “a product in an experimental phase” and that “any vaccine requires to be investigated between four and ten years” and that it cannot work “in a few months, as is the case. ” Not only that: a few months ago he refused to give the seasonal flu vaccine and the elderly who wanted to receive it had to make an appointment at his health center.
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Aiton-Etxe is a private center with places arranged with the Gipuzkoa Provincial Council. In 2018, for example, it received 518,966.24 euros from the regional institution. According to its own data, it has 40 places, 80% of them financed with public money. Sources from the Provincial Council assure that they are not aware of these facts and point out that the vaccination campaign has just started and that Osakidetza has not yet defined the calendar of the day centers. In Euskadi, it is the provincial councils and not the autonomous community that manage nursing homes and this type of center. Aiton-Etxe was temporarily closed at the start of the second wave due to the appearance of a coronavirus outbreak.
Sources from the center have confirmed to elDiario.es/Euskadi that the letter exists and that it has been drawn up by the director herself. In capital letters, this manager, which is also a healthcare company, assures that “when making a decision of this type, the benefit-risk ratio must always be taken into account” and adds that “in this case it is not proven that the benefits that it offers the medicine [sic] exceed the risks that it may produce. ”
He assures that the product currently available, that of Pfizer, has “serious” and “short-term” consequences for 4.6% of those who inoculate it, against general scientific criteria. And he adds: “The studies mentioned in the Pfizer-Biontech document have been carried out with healthy people. There is insufficient experience in people with chronic diseases and multiple pathologies, such as a high percentage of day center users.”
The text closes, leaving the door open to “whoever wants to receive it” when it is available “may go to their health center.” It is the same system that was articulated last fall with the flu campaign, although Aiton-Etxe did not want to explain what the arguments were then used to veto a vaccine that has been successfully administered among the population at risk for years.
In Euskadi there have been at least 6,800 positive cases in centers for the elderly, including those for workers. More than 900 people have died with COVID-19. You can consult here the data center by center of all residences in Álava, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa in both waves.