More than 85% of Spain’s care home residents have now been fully vaccinated, Health Ministry reports

Meanwhile, the official Covid-19 death toll has now passed the 70,000 mark. The data across the country, however, continues to improve with the 14-day incidence now at around 160 cases per 100,000 inhabitants

Healthcare workers vaccinate a resident of the Pare Vilaseca de Igualada care home in Barcelona.
Healthcare workers vaccinate a resident of the Pare Vilaseca de Igualada care home in Barcelona.Albert Garcia

Just over 85% of care home residents in Spain have now received the two Covid-19 vaccine doses needed for the full protection offered by the medication, according to the latest data presented on Wednesday by the Health Ministry. Another 11%, meanwhile, have received the first shot. In absolute terms, there are 330,461 people from this group who are completely protected and another 42,875 who are partly protected. Another 15,096 people (3.9%) are yet to start the process.

The data in the ministry report leads to the conclusion that another 956,541 people have received their full vaccination against Covid, including healthcare staff and essential workers, among others, for a grand total of 1,287,002 who have got the two doses. Of the 5,583,955 doses that have been delivered to the country’s regions, 72.7% have been administered. A total of 2.7 million people across Spain have received their first dose. All three of the vaccines that have been authorized for use so far in Spain – Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Moderna – require two injections.

A total of 1,779 deaths were reported over the last seven days, down from 2,152 a week ago

Wednesday marked the first time that the Health Ministry had presented this data on vaccinations, and the report was compiled in response to a request from the European authorities. In the future, the figures will include a breakdown of population groups, the ministry explained this week.

Meanwhile, in terms of the progress of the pandemic, the daily number of Covid-19 deaths shot back up again in Wednesday’s figures after having posted a record low for the year of 192 on Tuesday. Last night the ministry added 442 fatalities to the overall death toll, which is the worst number in two weeks. This has brought the total since the pandemic began above 70,000 – 70,247 to be exact.

After a year of the pandemic, this figure puts Covid as the third cause of death in Spain. Looking at figures for 2018, only cancer (112,000) and respiratory issues (120,000) caused more fatalities, according to data from the National Statistics Institute.

Despite Wednesday’s high fatality figure, in terms of the number of deaths reported over the last seven days, that data point came in at 1,779. This is still very high, but is in fact the second-lowest total since January 21. The best figure since then, 1,722, was reported on Tuesday. This confirms that despite the daily fluctuations, there is a falling trend. Last Wednesday, the figure came in at 2,152.

The 14-day cumulative number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants continues to fall, according to Wednesday’s report, coming in at 159.57. That is still three times the symbolic target the central government has set of 50, and what’s more the descent of this data point is starting to slow. In the last week, it has fallen 27.3%, compared to 37.9% a week ago.

As is habitual, there are major differences between regions. The Balearic Islands, Castilla-La Mancha, Valencia, Extremadura, Murcia and La Rioja are all below 100 cases, although none has yet to fall below 50 (Extremadura is at 50.58). Madrid and the North African exclave cities of Ceuta and Melilla, meanwhile, are still above 250 – considered to be the “extreme risk” level by the Health Ministry. The Canary Islands is at 106.76, but the figure there has been rising for two days now.

The Health Ministry reported 6,137 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday – a new low for 2021

The two-week parameter is expected to keep falling – the seven-day cumulative number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants is still doing so, which is a good sign. The number of infections is also falling. On Wednesday, 6,137 were reported – that’s a new low for 2021 and at the level of August last year, when the second wave began.

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Hospitals are also reporting falling stress levels due to the pandemic. A total of 8.57% of beds are currently occupied by Covid-19 patients, down from 10.67% a week ago. However, as with the incidence rate, this fall is also slowing. It’s gone from a descent of 21.14% a week ago to 15.65% in this latest report.

Something similar is happening for intensive care units (ICUs), albeit at a slower rate and from a worse situation. On Wednesday, 26.26% of beds were dedicated to Covid patients. A week ago, this figure was 30.55%. In Ceuta and Madrid, the percentages are 42.48% and 40.69%, respectively. Before the pandemic, that 40% was the percentage of beds reserved in case of an emergency, although now, with 2.5 times more beds than there were then (the total has gone from 4,400 to 10,000), there is greater capacity to maintain treatment of non-Covid patients.

English version by Simon Hunter.

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