Tuesday, July 5

The Basque Country sees it as “respectable” that young people go to France to get vaccinated faster, bypassing the Spanish protocol

What were particular and exceptional cases has become a massive flow and a health, ethical and even diplomatic controversy. Young Basques in their twenties and thirties are boasting on social networks that they have skipped the vaccination order set in Spain by taking appointments in an app for vaccination courses located in France, mainly in the area near the border with Irún, where there is a surplus for rejections in the local population. In Onda Vasca, the Minister of Health, Gotzone Sagardui, has described this practice as “respectable” although she has raised her “many doubts” about how the second dose will be guaranteed to these people or how their data will be incorporated into the clinical history and the so-called ‘COVID passport’, the tool put in place to be able to travel after immunization.

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“They are answers that still, at least, in the Department of Health we cannot answer because there has been no communication from the French Government that this possibility was going to be given. We will continue with the vaccination schedule to do it as soon as possible”, Sagardui explained. Osakidetza sources trust that the Ministry of Health can contact their French counterparts to establish a protocol and that there is a proposal for the next inter-territorial council, scheduled for this Wednesday, given the magnitude that the problem has acquired.

At the health level, these sources would not welcome, from the outset, that people who have traveled to France to receive the first dose claim the second at their place of origin when the deadline (21 days with Pfizer and 28 with Moderna), which would force them to put those who touched them first. Right now the group between 40 and 45 years old is vaccinated. In addition, there is uncertainty with the validity of the certificates that can be issued by the French Health and its interconnection with the medical record. How to know who has completed the regimen with a single dose for having passed COVID-19? Will these people leave the Osakidetza database or could they ‘repeat’ the vaccine as their trip is not recorded? Will Basque Health accept the issuance of the ‘COVID passport’ to those who have ostensibly skipped the protocol?

Another striking point is that France is allowing these people access to its territory. In the official website of Foreign Affairs It refers to the fact that “people aged eleven years or older must present a PCR or antigen test with a negative result performed less than 72 hours before departure”. Only exceptions from this are “those trips made by residents of the so-called border life basins within 30 km of their home and lasting less than 24 hours”, which would affect many Gipuzkoans to Donostia ( 25 kilometers from Hendaye) but not any displacement. This freedom of transit contrasts with the zeal that the French National Police has exhibited for years in controlling the muga, with almost permanent controls to block the passage of migrants, which have included ‘hot returns’.

In our interactive specials, you can consult all the data on the evolution of the pandemic in Euskadi, Over the positive and deceased in each and every one of the residences in Álava, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa and the advance day to day of the vaccination campaign. We also have maps with the most prominent shoots.