Madrid has been preparing the logistics for weeks to start the vaccination against Covid-19 in January, when the vaccines arrive. This has been explained by the Deputy Minister of Public Health and Covid Plan, Antonio Zapatero, in statements to Telecinco. Although the process will be “complex”, he pointed out, the Community has experience to carry it out.
Zapatero recalled that the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, reported that “in early January” vaccinations against the coronavirus will begin in Spain, although there is still no specific date. The first vaccine to arrive will be that of Pfizer, which requires freezing to below 70 degrees below zero, and this involves a complicated procedure.
For this reason, the Community of Madrid has been “” working for weeks “to adapt logistics and to determine how vaccination can take place, so that in January there will be some 300,000 immunized Madrilenians. As will be recalled, President Díaz Ayuso offered the Central Government the storage facilities of the Isabel Zendal Hospital, next to the Barajas airport, for the preservation of the doses of vaccine that arrive.
The vice-counselor has affirmed that despite the specificities of this vaccine, the Community has extensive experience in vaccination, as shown by the fact that so far this fall flu campaign has vaccinated and 1.3 million residents of the region.
“We are going to see exactly how many vaccines we receive,” said Zapatero, who pointed out that the places to store it have already been thought out but admitted that it will take a lot of nursing staff to supply it, something that will be resolved in due time, because “there is a month or so to receive them,” reports Efe.
Zapatero has indicated that the Community of Madrid will have to undertake an information campaign to “convince” citizens of the “great advantages of being vaccinated”, and has guaranteed that all vaccines that reach Spain – predictably Pfizer, Moderna or Astra Zenaca- “They are very safe.”
«You have to differentiate between safety and efficacy. All of them are safe, and their effectiveness is above 90%, “he insisted, before pointing out that the vaccine will be” part of the solution “to the pandemic.
Regarding the epidemiological data from Madrid, he assured that the trend towards improvement is maintained, and above all it is “very striking” how the care pressure in hospitals is decreasing, with 968 admitted last Sunday (70% less than in September peak) and 256 in ICU (almost 50% less than in early October).
Even so, he has asked for responsibility, because he considers that the figures are still “high”, and has demanded an “effort” from the public not to spoil what has been achieved in the last three months. Zapatero has asked the people of Madrid to be responsible for the festivities, because «It is better to spend a strange Christmas to be able to spend more Christmas together from 2021 ».
Asked about the self-tests that can be purchased at the pharmacy with a prescription, he explained that these are tests that allow know if the person who undergoes it has antibodies and has passed the disease, very different from PCR tests or antigen tests that seek to know who has the disease at that moment.
For the Community it is “much more important” to know the diagnosis of the largest possible population at the time, hence it continues to wait for the response of the Ministry to know if it is authorized for pharmacies to perform antigen tests, as in other countries, which would help control the infection. “We are wasting time, it has been 10 days since we requested it”, has complained.
And with regard to the emergency hospital Nurse Isabel Zendal, Zapatero explained that the first professionals are already in it receiving the necessary training to work, and trusts that this week patients will begin to arrive.