Catalonia falls short of goal of fully vaccinating 70% of population by end of August
"We must administer 2 million doses in September," says health minister
Catalonia has failed to meet the goal of fully vaccinating 70% of the population by the end of August.
As of August 31, 5,681,884 (71.9% of the population) have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, while 4,678,178 (59.3%) have had two and 5,287,678 (67%) are considered to be fully immunized.
People are considered to be fully immunized if they have had two doses or if they have had Covid-19 and then had one dose of a jab.
Meanwhile, in Spain as a whole, 77% of the population has had at least one dose and 69.7% is fully immunized.
Authorities expect vaccination rates to pick up speed in September after dropping in August, when many prioritized going on vacation over getting their Covid-19 jabs. The Catalan health department administered an average of 74,845 jabs per day in July, while only around 38,536 doses were given per day in August.
"We must administer 2 million doses in September," Catalan health minister Josep Maria Argimon said on Wednesday, less than two weeks before schools start up again on September 13.
Fully vaccinated students will no longer have to quarantine this academic year if one of their classmates tests positive. At the moment, 56% of 12- to 15-year-olds have had at least one dose of a vaccine, while 18.6% are fully vaccinated. These same figures stand at 69.4% and 57% for the 16 to 19 age group.
Both Argimon and Carmen Cabezas, Catalonia's public health secretary, continued to stress the importance of getting vaccinated during the weekly Covid-19 vaccination press conference, and gave details of health department campaigns aimed at encouraging those who have not yet done so.
While not foolproof, "jabs help prevent hospitalizations and deaths," Cabezas said, adding that they have seen cases of older people with underlying conditions whose other illnesses have been "destabilized" by Covid-19.
There are currently 10 pregnant women who have been hospitalized for Covid-19, of which 3 are in the ICU.
As for whether Catalonia would seek to require Covid-19 vaccination certificates to eat out in restaurants or to go to concerts or other events, Argimon said that for now, the Catalan government would "not focus [its] efforts" on this as other parts of Spain have been unsuccessful in their attempts to do so, with regional High Courts ruling against the measure.