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Catalonia threatens to administer AstraZeneca vaccine to over 55s despite Spain's ban

Health department says health of citizens at stake: "We cannot wait much longer"

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10 March 2021 12:18 PM

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ACN|Barcelona

Catalonia continues to insist on the need to begin administering the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to people over 55, despite Spain's ban on giving it to that age group.

Alba Vergés, the Catalan health minister, and Josep Maria Argimon, the public health secretary, stated in an article published by La Vanguardia newspaper that it cannot "wait much longer."

"The health of our citizens is at stake. Either they make a move or we will," they affirmed, lamenting what they describe as the Spanish health ministry's failure to change its protocol on the basis of new evidence.

Both Vergés and Argimon believe the vaccine is safe and effective for those over the age of 55 and urge Spain to take action as other European countries have done, especially given the slow rollout due in part to the insufficient number of Pfizer doses currently available.

Catalan health authorities argue the Spanish government must "do its job, which is to ensure there are enough doses to vaccinate the greatest number of people possible."

As per Spanish government guidelines, Catalonia began administering the AstraZeneca vaccine to essential workers under the age of 55 a month ago, prioritizing those who have not had Covid-19 in the past 6 months.

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  • L to R: health minister Alba Vergés, public health secretary Josep Maria Argimon, and interim president Pere Aragonès (by Àlex Recolons)

  • L to R: health minister Alba Vergés, public health secretary Josep Maria Argimon, and interim president Pere Aragonès (by Àlex Recolons)

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