Health will change the criteria for choosing the next groups to be vaccinated if the severity of the pandemic decreases

Sources close to the Ministry indicate that the immunization strategy has been designed to change it in the face of new needs.

Health personnel prepare the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.

It was on November 24 when the former Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, announced the vaccination strategy against Covid-19. A document that fixed a first order of priority of the population in the immunization campaign and which, for now, is based on the risk of mortality. But nevertheless, the criteria for defining the next groups may change if the pandemic reduces its severity.

As Invertia has learned, the reason that modifications may occur in the selection criteria is based on the fact that the strategy is “a living document”. The protocol, therefore, “it is defined as new needs arise and taking into account the evolution of the epidemic “.

For the choice of the first groups, the risk of mortality has prevailed, hence the priority population in vaccination has been the most vulnerable. Spain began immunization in residences for the elderly and first-line health personnel. After these first groups, it will be followed the population over 80 years of age.

However, this could change if the severity of the pandemic decreases, coming into play other criteria such as “transmission or exposure”, sources close to the development of the strategy have explained. It should be remembered that this plan and its updates first pass through the Public Health Commission and, finally, it is approved by the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System (CISNS), in which the Ministry of Health and the autonomous communities participate.

And it is that, according to the epidemiological context, it may be the case that “it is more reasonable to prioritize other groups instead of those that were foreseen ”. For now and with the current evolution of Covid-19, the risk of mortality will continue to prevail as a criterion to define the priority population in the vaccination campaign.

AstraZeneca Vaccine

For its part, the arrival of the AstraZeneca vaccine and the decision of Spain not to use it in people over 55 years of age it will not involve a reorganization of the strategy. The sources consulted by Invertia have insisted that the vaccination plan is a “living document” and as such variations are foreseen according to the needs of the moment.

In this case, as announced by the Ministry of Health, the first doses of the AstraZeneca antigen will be inoculated second-line health and social care personnel and, furthermore, “the inclusion of essential professionals is also being considered,” according to these sources.

Used syringes in a waste box after being used for second doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Used syringes in a waste box after being used for second doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

On the other hand, sources close to the professional groups that work with the Ministry of Health have reinforced the idea that the department of Carolina Darias will include more people at risk “To continue expanding the use of AstraZeneca preparation doses.”

An inclusion that materializes the desire of healthcare professionals and patients. An example of this are the people with Down Syndrome. As they have a greater comorbidity associated with Covid, representatives of the collective and scientific societies have insisted on the need to include them in risk groups.

The commitment of the Ministry with this group, as well as with people with diabetes, are the examples of these risk groups that are included in the protocols.

In the end, as these same sources explain to Invertia, the objective is to use the preparation of Modern and Pfizer with those over 55 – covering the oldest and most at-risk population – and using AstraZeneca’s for healthcare professionals and these patients with chronic pathologies or those who pose a greater risk for Covid.

“Vulnerable and vulnerable”, reiterate over and over again the health professionals close to the groups of the Ministry of Health. In addition, they add that the terms are going “well” since the residences are practically immunized and the first-line toilets will end this month.

Mass vaccination in May

With regard to the general public (that is, patients without previous diseases that represent the great bulk of citizens to be immunized), these experts are already talking about mass vaccination for the summer.

Note that when you go beyond that third group of priority groups, there will be enough vaccines to do a “large-scale immunization”. A model like the one in the United States or the United Kingdom that professional health colleges see as possible in Spain.

That third group (older than 70 years and people with serious pathologies) He could be vaccinated between April and May, according to estimates by these same advisers from the Ministry of Health.

It would be then, from the month of May, when Spain expects to have more antigens from different pharmaceutical companies and a greater number of doses. Therefore, these experts affirm that it would be then when groups would ‘cease to exist’As all the vulnerable are already vaccinated, and the bulk of the population would begin to be immunized.