Wednesday, August 17

Madrid begins monkeypox vaccination with a trickle of appointments

The Community of Madrid has begun this week to administer the monkeypox vaccine. After insistently demanding that Health provide vaccines to immunize the population at risk that has not yet been in contact with the virus, the Madrid Ministry has launched a plan by which it will inoculate about 100 doses a day to those citizens who request it and that meet the requirements established to be considered a population at risk.

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In the Public Health Commission held on Tuesday of last week, the autonomous communities and the Ministry of Health agreed to distribute the 5,300 vaccines that arrived in Spain through the purchase managed by the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority ( HERA) of the European Commission. The Community of Madrid will receive 1,835 doses, which it has begun to inoculate this week in a campaign that, based on the available injections and the 100 daily doses planned by the Ministry, will last until mid-August.

The Minister of Health, Enrique Ruiz Escudero, has indicated this Tuesday that some 6,000 doses would be needed to cover pre-exposure vaccination in the region, which began this week without much promotion by the Community of Madrid. In fact, from the Ministry they have reported the start of the campaign through a press release in which they highlighted the contagion of a seven-month-old baby. This statement has been shared on the official Twitter account of the ministry, mentioning only the child’s case, but the possibility of requesting an appointment has not been disclosed, for the moment, in any official account of the Community.

With 1,577 cases of monkeypox detected in the region, the Community of Madrid has opted for the self-citation system. Thus, it is the citizens themselves who want to be vaccinated who request it. They must meet a series of requirements to be considered a population at risk. Specifically, they point out from the counseling, “they are people between 18 and 45 years old who maintain high-risk sexual practices and meet the established clinical criteria.” These criteria are: not having received the smallpox vaccine before –hence the age limitation–, not having had the disease, not having been in contact with a positive case in the last 10 days, not presenting symptoms or any contraindication.

In this Wednesday’s statement, the Ministry of Health indicated that “50 daily openings that will be expanded depending on demand” had been set up in the Vaccination Center of the Community of Madrid. This Thursday they informed this medium that “appointments have been doubled” to “increase immunization capacity and response to demand.”

“Madrid is the only community that has quickly and agilely launched an ordered access vaccination device, taking into account the characteristics of the vaccine and the indications approved by the Public Health Commission of the Ministry of Health,” they point out. from the Ministry, despite criticism from some users for the lack of dissemination of the measure.

Although not communicated the website to make an appointment It has been operational, at least, since Friday of last week. However, it works intermittently, which has drawn some criticism. Both because of the speed at which the available slots are exhausted and a message appears that urges “try it in the next few days”, and because of the delay in receiving the puncture once the appointment is made. For example, last Friday there were only shifts available for August 8, 24 days later. This Thursday, some users have got an appointment for the 9th of that month.

Citizens who meet the requirements and get an appointment must go to get vaccinated at the Vaccination Center, located on General Oráa Street. “The General Directorate of Public Health has decided to centralize vaccination due to the limitation of doses assigned to Madrid,” they point out from Health, because these sera have “specific conservation characteristics that require their administration in suitable places for this purpose.”

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