Thursday, May 19

Madrid lags behind in vaccination with more than 800,000 doses without putting

Vaccination against COVID-19 is progressing at a good pace in Spain and the Government’s goal of having 70% of the population immunized by the end of August is on the right track. This Thursday, the country again broke a new record: it inoculated 747,589 doses in 24 hours. Immunization is advancing with speed, although not at the same rate in all autonomous communities. At the tail end, the Community of Madrid has been for several weeks since it began to administer vaccines to those under 50 years of age. It is the autonomy that has inoculated the least doses of those received, 86.7%, and keeps almost a million in storage, according to the latest report from the Ministry of Health. The region governed by Ayuso is lagging behind and the regional government tries to trace – externalizing the service – some data that put into question the Madrid health system and, specifically, the state of its Primary Care.

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Madrid is the region that has given the least first doses: 48.0%, compared to 54.1% of the national average. The most advantageous community is Asturias (66.1%), followed by Galicia (60.8%) and Extremadura (59.4%). Madrid has stored 826,843 doses without administration, which represents 13.3% of those it has received, the highest figure in the entire country. The next region that has more vaccines stored is Catalonia with 569,332, although in its case 92.1% of those it has received have already been inoculated compared to 86.7% in Madrid.

The data questions the numerous criticisms that both Ayuso and his team from the Ministry of Health have leveled against the central government in recent months, when they demanded more vaccines, despite having them. “If it had not been for the Government, I would already have Madrid vaccinated 100%,” the Madrid president came to assure during the 4M electoral campaign. It also contradicts the current version of the regional government that defends that it has a “rhythm in accordance” with the doses they are receiving.

“It is not about making a competition” but about managing “safely and with guarantees”, said this week the Minister of Health, Enrique Ruiz Escudero, before the bad data. “It responds to a strategy thought out, safe and with guarantees so that each Madrilenian has his vaccine,” he insisted. And he added: “A person is never administered or cited without having the vaccine in the fridge (…) We were criticized at the beginning but Madrid has never had to request vaccines from other communities as has happened elsewhere”, despite that the doses they keep today exceed 800,000 and thousands will continue to arrive each week.

How many people are vaccinated in each community and how many doses are being given?

Evolution of the% of population in each region that has received
at least one dose Y who has received the complete vaccine

Click on the button to see the vaccination rate: number of new doses administered and the seven day average

Source: Ministry of Health

To compensate for the delay, Ayuso announced this Wednesday that the companies Acciona, El Corte Inglés and Grupo Santander will be able to vaccinate their employees as of next Monday, July 5. They will do so with their own personnel formed by the Ministry of Health and as of Wednesday, July 7, the general population will also be able to use these companies to receive the vaccine. The Madrid president called for them to join this new model more: “More companies can be added to this public-private collaboration project, which is a pioneer on a national scale,” said Ayuso, despite the fact that there are other regions such as Catalonia. , where Seat vaccinates at its Martorell plant since the beginning of May.

The Community of Madrid’s forecast is for Acciona to administer 5,000 weekly doses at its headquarters in the La Moraleja Business Park, in Alcobendas. El Corte Inglés will vaccinate on Arapiles street, in the center of the capital, and it is estimated that it will put out around 14,000 weekly doses. Santander another 10,000 in its Financial City, in Boadilla del Monte. Acciona and Santander will give vaccines from Monday to Friday. In the mall also on weekends.

Outsourcing vaccination to companies – a resource that the Ministry of Health assures will have “zero cost” for the administration – is not the only measure implemented by Ayuso to try to get a run in vaccination against the coronavirus. Madrid vaccinates from Monday 24 hours a day at the Isabel Zendal hospital and from Thursday at the Wizink Center. The autonomous administration began to vaccinate those under 40 years of age this week, although almost half of the target population of the previous decade (40-49 years) still does not receive a dose.

Madrid slowed down its vaccination rate when it began to inoculate doses at that age group. Since the punctures began in the population between 40 and 49 years old –on June 8– in the region, only 617,468 people (53%) have received doses, while in a community with a similar amount of population in This age, like Andalusia, injections amounted to 1,041,496 people (75.2%) in the same period, despite having a greater geographic dispersion, which makes vaccination difficult. In the case of Catalonia, another similar community in population, 923,619 people (70.2%) have been vaccinated in their quarantine. The same occurs with the ages between 30-39 to which Madrid has only supplied a dose to 132,885 people, 14% compared to other regions such as Andalusia, which has 33.5%.

Vaccination, by age group, in each community

Percentage of the population of each age group that has received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccination or the complete schedule, out of the total population of that group

NOTE: in the case of the 20-49 age group, before June 21 includes 18 and 19 years

Source: Ministry of Health

Proximity vaccination

Another solution to try to alleviate this situation has been to offer the quarantined population the possibility of getting vaccinated in their health centers. In the opinion of health workers, this is an important aspect that would explain the slowdown in vaccines. For Alda Recas, spokesperson for the Madrid Nurses Association (AME), this solution should have been made available to Madrid residents before. “Instead of making vaccination centers in health centers, which are run by nurses who are experts in these issues, these macro places have been made, which what they have shown is that they are not as fast as previously thought,” he says. Recas.

“Now the health centers are reopening because they have realized that it is the only way to reach the population and not those places in many cases far from urban centers,” adds the AME spokeswoman, who considers that the management of the Government of the Community of Madrid for the vaccination campaign was “bad” from the beginning. For Julián Esquerra, spokesman for Amyts, the majority college of physicians in Madrid, it is “incomprehensible” that the vaccines are in place and are not being administered. “The proximity vaccination in health centers would have been desirable,” he defends, although he recognizes the work of hospitals as well.

Both Recas and Esquerra point out that Madrid could have reached the limit of its vaccination possibilities by pulling the staff it has and consider that there should be a greater recruitment of nurses for this purpose to help alleviate in the future the structural deficit suffered by the health center templates. For the spokesperson for Amyts, opening clinics for vaccination now is not realistic, “nor is it the best time,” taking into account that holiday periods begin and health centers have very depleted staff. In fact, the regional government plans to close 41 of 49 health centers in the central health area during the summer due to the summer holidays that it does not plan to cover.

Why have not more outpatients been counted on in the vaccination campaign? Lack of personnel is one of the causes, as the health workers point out. One piece of data that reflects this situation is that Madrid is the region with the fewest health centers per inhabitant in all of Spain, only behind Melilla. According to data from the Ministry of Health, the region has 424 between health centers and local clinics. That supposes a rate of 6.3 per 100,000 inhabitants. There is no region with such a low time. The next with the lowest rate is the Canary Islands and it has 11.8.

Given the lack of doctors, Madrid was the first to outsource part of the vaccination service by hiring Red Cross personnel. In one of the three large centers, the Wanda Metropolitano, it is this entity that has provided nurses to the infrastructure to puncture doses. Companies that will vaccinate from Monday will also put their own staff in exchange for vaccinating their workers first.