The Ayuso government says it has run out of vaccines for "first-line health workers" after having previously vaccinated other groups

The Minister of Health of the Community of Madrid, Enrique Ruiz Escudero, announced this Thursday that the regional government has decided to stop vaccinating the "health workers who are on the front line" of the fight against Covid-19. Escudero has alluded to the lack of doses, blaming the Ministry of Health for the change in criteria in the distribution of the same. The reality reported by health workers is very different: in the last ten days all kinds of people have been vaccinated in hospitals, as reflected in the Ministry's own vaccination plans. As sources from the department headed by Escudero acknowledge to, until now, "front-line personnel and all personnel, all those who serve in a hospital, have been vaccinated," they assure

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The lack of planning and lack of control in the supply of the vaccine against Covid-19 by the Community of Madrid already caused this Thursday that the health workers of 80 Primary Care centers have run out of their dose. Sonia –fictitious name– had an appointment for that day at the health center where she works as a nurse to inject the first dose, but finally, it will not be possible: "Today the coordinator sent us a message to inform us that it was canceled due to a shortage ", he tells The Ministry of Health later confirmed that this situation extended to all outpatient clinics that planned to start vaccination this week. As a result, the regional government has delayed the start of vaccination in health centers until next week "depending on the number of vials received."

The Health Minister went a step further this Thursday and confirmed that there will not be a vaccine for the health workers of the hospitals that "work on the front line." "Madrid has already run out of vaccines for newly vaccinated people. I am sorry to have to say this, but Madrid does not have doses to vaccinate more first-line health professionals. That is why we have been forced to suspend the vaccination provisions of hospitals" , has assured during an extraordinary monographic plenary session this Thursday in the Madrid Assembly.

The regional government began the vaccine in hospitals on the weekend of December 9, in which Madrid was paralyzed by the heavy snowfalls caused by the storm Filomena. On that day, autonomy was at the tail end of the communities that had injected the fewest doses since the first was vaccinated on December 27: 14,000 doses, 14.3% of those they had received. But despite the adverse weather, which caused problems in the accesses of the hospitals, Madrid has managed in the last ten days to overcome the vaccination rate and has already injected 73.2% of the vaccines, ahead of Andalusia, La Rioja, Balearic Islands, Basque Country and Navarra.

The reason for the comeback, count numerous testimonies from health workers from various hospitals in the region collected by this newspaper, is that in these centers all types of professionals have been vaccinated without following the criteria set by the Ministry of Health, unlike what that the Minister of Health defended this Thursday. Escudero has ensured that an order of prioritization has been established: first, inmates and health and social health personnel in residences for the elderly and the disabled; second, the first-line health personnel; third, other health and social-health personnel, and fourth, people with disabilities who require intense support measures to develop their lives (large non-institutionalized dependents).

That order has never been fulfilled, in the first place because to this day the people in the residences are still not vaccinated. But in addition, vaccines in hospitals have been produced without any planning. "In my hospital I have even vaccinated a worker from a subcontractor," says a nurse from the La Paz hospital, who says that she has injected doses without having designated schedules or priorities. "It was enough to have the identification card of the hospital that anyone who is working in the center has it, and there are also people on leave of absence who were called to be vaccinated especially during the worst days of the storm with excess vaccines."

The same situation is described by health workers in many other hospitals in Madrid: lack of planning and a generalized vaccination of all hospital personnel without following certain criteria. Some of the large hospitals, such as La Paz or October 12, experienced long queues with health workers waiting for their dose for several days. "The point is that the hospital hung a sign saying 'tomorrow is vaccinated at twelve' and the next day at that time there were dozens and dozens of people at the door," says a doctor on October 12. "It is not that there was an intention to sneak in, but it ended up happening because if you do not plan it, people do not know very well what they have to do," he adds.

Health workers from other hospitals such as Aranjuez, Gregorio Marañón or Getafe report similar episodes. The Ministry of Health acknowledges to that all types of hospital personnel are being vaccinated without following the guidelines set by the Ministry, which established that the most vulnerable must first be vaccinated due to their exposure to the coronavirus.

More questionable situations have occurred in other centers such as the San Carlos Clinical Hospital, where hundreds of retirees have been vaccinated, as reported by Cadena Ser this week. This center located in the Moncloa-Aravaca district of the city of Madrid alleged that there were excess doses and that they should be put in before having to dispose of them (once thawed there are only a few hours to administer the injection).

A case similar to that revealed by in the Valdesur residence for the elderly of the Casablanca group, where the workers sneaked in several relatives and priests during the first days of vaccination. The Community of Madrid finally limited to two cases the people vaccinated irregularly in this residence located in Valdemoro, in its internal investigation. The regional government comes to this conclusion, despite the fact that the leadership of the group that manages the residence acknowledged that they had given doses to priests, volunteers and close associates of the center's professionals, after this wording revealed the irregularity.

"How many people have vaccinated who were not from Group 1 or Group 2?" Mónica García, from Más Madrid, has asked herself about this possible misuse of doses.

Now, the Community of Madrid reports that it will prioritize people in nursing homes and will end throughout this week the operation to complete the first dose of vaccination against COVID-19 in all socio-health centers in the region.


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