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COVID-19

Vaccination drive in ‘chaos’

Jack Troughton | March 1, 2021

SPAIN’S Covid-19 vaccination programme is being hampered by logistical problems to get jabs in arms, complain medical unions – as just 75% of doses received last week were actually used.

Nursing union Satse said the “easiest part” – immunising residents of nursing homes, frontline healthcare staff and vulnerable people – was over and the ongoing campaign, the next phase is people aged over 80 and essential workers aged under 55, was more “complicated”.

The vaccination rate in the 17 regions, responsible for handling the response to the coronavirus pandemic – is going at different speeds.

However, at the start of February, Spain used 94% of shots delivered, across the month the level dropped – first to 90%, then 87% and last week to 75%.

The problems included making appointments for people and having the capacity to inject large numbers; while the first stage saw people living or working in one place.

Satse said experiences were very different. In Galicia, the situation was described as “chaotic” with a delay in shipments resulting in long queues to receive the jab; in the Basque Country, over 53% of people described their experience as “terrible” and 27% as “bad”.

In Madrid, medical unions said the new phase of the programme was one of
“improvisation and chaos”.

In the coming weeks, Spain will start to receive vaccines in even larger numbers and the unions say organisation must improve to meet the target of having 70% of the population immunised by the end of summer.