Three autonomous communities have announced that they are advancing the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine to those over 60 years of age, initially scheduled 12 weeks after the first puncture: Madrid and Galicia will do it in week 11 and Andalusia in week 10.
The reason that Madrid and Andalusia have used to advance the second dose of AstraZeneca to this group is the presence of the delta variant of covid-19 in some territories, although the Ministry of Health assures that it is not the dominant one in our country.
The director of the Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies, Fernando Simón, said Monday that it is “perfectly valid” to advance the second dose of AstraZeneca to people over 60, but not for the delta variant, which for now “is not occupying an important space in Spain”.
The delta variant represents less than 1% in Spain
The delta variant, currently the majority in India and United Kingdom, It represents less than 1% of new cases in Spain, while alpha (British) is losing ground and in some communities it represents less than 70%, according to the latest report from the Ministry of Health on variants.
However, the acting Minister of Health of the Community of Madrid, Enrique Ruiz Escudero, insists that you have to “be alert” with the delta variant, since it is “especially contagious, 40% more than the British one”. “Experience tells us that when that happens, it can become predominant in about 6 or 8 weeks,” he warns.
In Galicia, the health authorities have explained that the decision to advance the second dose of AstraZeneca will not affect those under 60 vaccinated with this preparation (group made up of essential professions), for which the period for the second puncture was extended to 16 weeks.
The advance is announced when the indicators of the vaccination campaign indicate that the age group between 60 and 69 years goes with more delay than others, such as those over 50, who receive vaccines that require less waiting time between punctures (Pfizer and Moderna, which require 3 and 4 weeks respectively) or are single-dose (Janssen).
According to the daily report of the Ministry of Health, 4.1 million people in Spain they are already vaccinated with a dose of AstraZeneca and 928,612 that have already inoculated the complete regimen.
Vaccination with AstraZeneca has had various setbacks, on the one hand, due to the lack of supplies (the pharmaceutical company is in a legal dispute with the European Commission for non-compliance) and, on the other hand, the confusion generated by changing criteria on its administration as a result of cases of thrombi among vaccinated people. Now, it is scheduled for those over 60 years of age.
At the end of May, the vaccination of the group of essential professionals (health, police, teachers, etc.) who had been inoculated with the first puncture of the Anglo-Swedish, was resumed, but with a second dose of Pfizer and only with the possibility to repeat if a consent is signed.