coronavirus

Vaccination drive in Spain: how is each region progressing after the AstraZeneca suspension?

Regional authorities are hoping to make up for some of the time that was lost when the use of the British-Swedish vaccine was temporarily halted over health concerns

A health worker administers a Covid-19 vaccine in Valencia.
A health worker administers a Covid-19 vaccine in Valencia.Mònica Torres / EL PAÍS

The temporary suspension of the use of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine has considerably delayed the pace of vaccination in Spain. Last week, 666,978 shots were administered – some of them first doses, some of them second ones – representing a 25% drop from the previous week, according to Health Ministry data based on regional statistics.

Spain is resuming the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine on Wednesday, and regional authorities are hoping to make up for some of the time that was lost while countries waited for an announcement by the European Medicines Agency regarding the safety of the vaccine, following isolated reports of blood clots among recipients.

Last week, 666,978 shots were administered, representing a 25% drop from the previous week

Unlike most other EU countries, Spain only provides vaccination information about residents of care centers, but not about other priority groups such as adults 80 and over who do not live in care facilities. Residents of these homes are now considered to be fully immunized, as the national average stands at 97.8%.

The pace of vaccination in Spain is very similar to the EU average, reflecting the fact that all countries have received similar shares of doses through the European drug purchase system. The most recent data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) shows that 10.4% of the EU population has received one dose, and 4.5% has received both. These figures include all three vaccines currently authorized for use in the EU: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca.

In Spain, these percentages are nearly identical: 10.4% and 4.6%. By comparison, Finland has given around 15% of its population their first dose, while only 1.9% have had both. In Hungary, the percentages are noticeably higher, 17.9% and 5.3%, but that is because authorities there are also using Chinese and Russian vaccines that the rest of the EU has not authorized.

Although Spain does not provide disaggregated data, the ECDC shows that in countries that do, 54.4% of the 80-and-over population has received one dose, while 23.2% has received both. Given the similar figures across most European countries, it is likely to be in the same range in Spain.

This is how each Spanish region is doing so far.

Andalusia

The southern region has administered 1,202,553 doses, according to health authorities. Figures show that 5% of the population has received both doses, while 3.9% have received one. Andalusia is on Wednesday resuming the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine after putting 123,210 doses on hold. Another 17,800 doses arrived this week. The Andalusian government said that 89.5% of healthcare workers have had their first shot, and 86.5% have had both. There is no information about other essential workers, but 56.20% of the region’s 80-and-over population has had the first shot, while 38.07% has had both.

Aragon

The latest data from the Aragon government’s transparency website shows that 11.35% of the population has received at least one dose, and 6.11% have received both. Of the nearly 210,000 doses that have been administered, around 53,000 have gone to people “at risk because of their age,” another 44,000 to specialized healthcare professionals, and 35,000 to care home residents and workers. The regional government is hoping to administer 30,000 more vaccines this week.

Asturias

The region’s Health Observatory said on Twitter that 60% of people 90 and older have already received both doses; 80% of this age bracket and 50% of the 80-to-89 group have at least one dose. And 7.48% of the population of Asturias is now fully vaccinated.

La Guía sports complex in Gijón, Asturias, is being used as a vaccine administration point.
La Guía sports complex in Gijón, Asturias, is being used as a vaccine administration point. EUROPA PRESS / Europa Press

Balearic Islands

At care homes, 81% of residents and workers are now fully vaccinated. Among frontline hospital workers, 86% have had one shot and 82% have had both. Among other healthcare workers, 71% have had their first dose. As for individuals with severe disabilities who do not live in care homes, as well as the people who care for them (for a total of 9,492 people), 59% have received one dose and 41% have received both. There are around 2,600 people over the age of 95 living in the Balearics, and all of them have had their first dose. The 90-to-94 age group is now receiving appointments for their first shot. Health authorities are also vaccinating around 25,000 teachers, and 60% of early and primary stage educators have already had their first shot. Other essential workers who have begun to get their shots include Civil Guard personnel, National Police officers, emergency service workers and members of the armed forces. Around 65% of this group has had a first dose.

Basque Country

In Spain’s Basque Country, the region is continuing to vaccinate essential workers and an undetermined number of the 80-and-over population. The regional health chief, Gotzone Sagardui, announced on Tuesday that the general population under the age of 65 will begin to be immunized next week with the AstraZeneca vaccine, a drive that will run parallel to the vaccination of essential workers who still haven’t received their shots. Between Wednesday and Sunday, 27,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be administered to those who had been scheduled to receive the injection last week, but had their appointments canceled due to the temporary suspension of its use.

Canary Islands

The region has administered 235,098 doses and 79,733 people are now fully vaccinated, the equivalent of 5.91% of the target population. Residents and staff of care centers, as well as frontline healthcare workers, have received their two doses. The region is continuing this week to vaccinate adults with need for daily assistance who are not in care homes and to administer the first dose of the vaccine to the 80-and-over population. As for health and social service professionals who are not considered frontline workers, 98.7% have received the first dose and 15.4% the second. For adults with disabilities who are not in care homes, these figures are 33.86% and 6.46% respectively. A total of 26.3% of essential workers (members of the armed forces and emergency workers) have received the first dose of the vaccine.

A healthcare professional administering a vaccine inside the Hotel SB Plaza Europa in Barcelona, which is being used for quarantines.
A healthcare professional administering a vaccine inside the Hotel SB Plaza Europa in Barcelona, which is being used for quarantines.Toni Albir / EFE

Cantabria

This week Cantabria will continue to vaccinate people who can’t leave their homes and administer the first and second doses of the vaccine to the 80-and-over age group. Vaccinations will take place in primary healthcare centers, social service residences, as well as rehabilitation centers and occupational facilities.

Castilla-La Mancha

The region plans to continue vaccinating the 80-and-over population and law enforcement officers this week, and on Thursday it will begin administering the vaccine to teaching professionals.

Castilla y León

This region will continue vaccinating the 80-and-over population and from Wednesday it will resume the inoculation of firefighters, police officers and other essential workers.

Catalonia

The region will finish vaccinating nursing home residents and healthcare professionals, while essential workers, adults with need for daily assistance who are not in care homes and the 80-and-over age group are expected to be vaccinated by mid-May. More than 60% of officers from the regional police force, the Mossos d’Esquadra, and from Barcelona’s municipal police, the Guardia Urbana, have received the first dose. In the case of prison workers, this figure is more than 76%. On Wednesday the region will begin administering the AstraZeneca vaccine to essential workers aged between 60 and 65. The regional health department also announced that it will open 500 vaccination sites in venues such as the Camp Nou soccer stadium when the mass immunization drive begins from April.

Extremadura

This region is vaccinating people aged 63 and 64, which is the next priority group on the list, essential workers under the age of 55 and the 80-and-over population.

Galicia

After vaccinating nearly all senior residences and other care homes, the region has also made a lot of progress in the inoculation of the 80-and-over age group, a population that comprises 220,000 people. According to the regional government, more than 80,000 people in this priority group have received the first dose and the second will be administered “shortly.” The regional health department aims to vaccinate everyone in this age group by the end of April, and begin immunizing people aged between 70 and 80 at the beginning of May. This population is being vaccinated with the Pfizer shots in health centers.

On Wednesday, the region will resume administering the AstraZeneca vaccine in field hospitals. These shots – which have already been given to 90,000 residents in the region – will be administered to health professionals and essential workers, including teachers, law enforcement officers and emergency workers under 55 years of age. The regional healthcare service Sergas said it will start vaccinating people under the age of 65 with the AstraZeneca vaccine as more doses arrive. According to the regional government, Galicia received 12,000 doses of the medication this week, half the number scheduled to arrive.

Vaccination at Hospital Isabel Zendal in Madrid.
Vaccination at Hospital Isabel Zendal in Madrid.Olmo Calvo

La Rioja

In La Rioja, 61.62% of the 80-and-over age group have received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and 19.07% have received the two doses needed for full protection. This week, the region is planning to vaccinate teaching professionals.

Madrid

The Madrid region is continuing to vaccinate the 80-and-over age group and on Wednesday will resume vaccinating essential workers under the age of 65.

Murcia

According to the region’s most recent report, which was released last week, 85% of workers in care centers and 74% of health workers are vaccinated. A total of 13% of adults who need daily assistance but are not in care facilities and 4% of people aged 80 and over have also been immunized. The region has also begun vaccinating teachers and law enforcement officers.

Navarre

From Wednesday, the regions will resume administering the AstraZeneca vaccine. The region is currently vaccinating the 80-and-over population and expects everyone in this age group to have received at least one dose by Easter week. The premier of Navarre, María Chivite, said that between 40% and 60% of residents in the region will be vaccinated by the beginning of summer. The region has administered 87% of all vaccine doses received.

Valencia region

Nearly 150,000 teachers and teaching support staff will be vaccinated between March 26 and April 1 with doses from AstraZeneca. Given that the age limit for the Anglo-Swedish medication has been lifted, teachers between 55 and 65 years of age will also be vaccinated with these shots. This vaccine will also be administered to the healthcare professionals and in-home care workers who still have not received the injection. Last Monday, the region received 67,8000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which will be used to continue to vaccinate the 80-and-over age group, adults with need for daily assistance who are not in care facilities and their carers, among others.

Ceuta

On Wednesday, the exclave city in North Africa will resume administering the AstraZeneca vaccine. The territory also now has enough doses of the Pfizer vaccine to administer the second shot to the 80-and-over population, a process that had been on hold for a week due to shortages.

Melilla

The North African exclave city has administered nearly all of the 9,000 vaccine doses it has received, and fully vaccinated 2,387 people.

With reporting by Eva Saiz, Lucía Bohórquez, Guillermo Vega, Juan Navarro, Diego Estébanez, Pedro Gorospe, Sonia Vizoso, Ferran Bono and Bernat Coll.

English version by Melissa Kitson and Susana Urra.


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