Need to Know Covid Vaccination Campaign Info

Canary Islands

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Spanish Health Authority plans to buy about 140 million doses to vaccinate about 80 million people

A total of 82,834 citizens have already received the first dose of the only vaccine approved until this Tuesday in the European Union, that of Pfizer-BioNTech, of which Spain has already received more than 700,000 doses and which has begun to be injected in residences of elderly and health personnel.

According to the Ministry of Health, which plans to purchase about 140 million doses to immunize about 80 million people, the vaccine is free and will be administered on a voluntary basis.

These are some of the most frequently asked questions about the vaccination campaign, which the Ministry of Health responds to on its website vaccinacovid.es.

What vaccines will be available in Spain?

Spain is expected to have access to seven vaccines through the European Union procurement program and after they are approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Until now, the EMA has only given the go-ahead to the US-German consortium Pfizer-BioNTech, which has already been dispensed in all communities since last December 27.

According to forecasts, tomorrow the second one could be authorized: that of the American pharmaceutical company Moderna, as well as the British Oxford-Astrazeneca, which began to be injected last Monday in the United Kingdom, could also be approved shortly.

Can I choose which vaccine to get?

The information available for the use of the vaccines will be taken into account but, taking into account the limited number of them and their difficulty in handling, it will not be possible to offer the possibility of choice.

Who decides who gets vaccinated?

The Interterritorial Council of the National Health System - made up of the Ministry and the communities - decided in September 2020 that a single vaccination strategy would be carried out.

The vaccination campaign in Spain is in Stage 1 -First doses available- in which priority groups are being vaccinated.

In March, Health hopes to be able to start Stage 2 - More doses available - for other priority groups before giving way in June to Stage 3 - Widely available vaccine - for the rest of the priority groups.

What are the benefits of getting vaccinated?

The main objective of vaccination is to prevent covid-19 and reduce its severity and mortality, especially protecting those most vulnerable groups.

It protects directly each vaccinated person and indirectly the rest of the population by reducing the number of people who can contract the disease. The more people are immunized, the less likely it is that the rest will be exposed to the virus, or at least to high viral loads.

Where do I get vaccinated?

The Ministry of Health and the Autonomous Communities are jointly planning the way in which the administration of the vaccines will proceed. The Health Service of each community will contact the people to be vaccinated, following the established order of prioritization. It will also determine the place or places of vaccination, according to the people to be vaccinated.

How many doses are necessary to be immune?

The Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine produces a protective immune response in 95% of people vaccinated with 2 doses (given 21 days apart).

Does the vaccine have side effects?

Like all medicines, it can trigger mild adverse reactions (fever or pain at the injection site) or, less frequently, more serious ones (encephalitis, vasculitis, neuralgia, etc.)

What do I do if I have an adverse reaction?

Health care should be sought at the referring health center or hospital, depending on the importance of the reaction. Health personnel must notify it.

Can you lead a normal life after the vaccine?

Until a significant proportion of the population is vaccinated, it is vital that all people, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, continue to maintain preventive measures.

That is, wear masks, wash your hands, maintain interpersonal distance, limit the number of people you interact with, and choose, whenever possible, activities outdoors or in well-ventilated spaces.

In the case of having symptoms, you have to stay at home, as well as if you are waiting for the result of a diagnostic test or have had contact with a positive.

Can I transmit the covid after being vaccinated?

It is not yet known whether vaccination prevents vaccinated people from becoming infected and, even if they do not get sick, can transmit the virus to other people. This will be known as the population is vaccinated.

Should I get vaccinated if I have already passed the covid?

Although it has been observed that most of the people infected by the coronavirus develop a protective immune response, it is unknown how long it lasts and it is not known whether the disease will be milder in the event of a new infection.

Therefore, it has been decided to vaccinate the most vulnerable in the first stage, regardless of whether they have passed the disease or not.

What if I get infected after receiving the first dose?

Since it is not known precisely how long antibodies persist after an infection and that vaccination is safe in previously infected people, it is recommended to administer the second dose, once the isolation period is over. It is not considered necessary to restart the pattern.

Can I get vaccinated if I have an allergy?

The vaccine is contraindicated in people who have had an anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose of vaccine against COVID-19 or to any of the components of the vaccine.

What if I am pregnant, want to get pregnant or have a nursing baby?

In general terms, vaccination of pregnant women should be postponed until the end of pregnancy. There are also no data on its use during lactation.

Does the vaccine protect against the new strain that emerged in the UK?

This strain has arisen by point mutations in the genome of the virus, arisen at random in its multiplication within human cells. These mutations do not affect the entire S protein, so it is unlikely that the vaccine will not be effective.

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