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'Vaccine starting to have an effect on population' say health chiefs

Preliminary data suggests that 12 days after first vaccination dose Covid-19 infection is 6 times less likely 

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20 January 2021 05:14 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

The health service (Salut) has released preliminary data on the progression of the vaccine rollout in Catalonia that shows Covid-19 infection rates in line with those expected based on clinical trials.

Most people who became infected after receiving the first dose of the vaccine did so within the first twelve days, which is the estimated length of time it takes before the vaccine becomes effective. Two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine are required for maximum efficacy.

As of Wednesday, 161,481 people in Catalonia have received the first dose, 41,729 of them more than twelve days ago. Among the latter group, 544 cases of Covid-19 were detected within twelve days of receiving the vaccine, or 1.3% of all those vaccinated. Some 90 people (0.2%) of more than 40,000 tested positive for Covid-19 after the twelve-day period had passed.

"Vaccine starting to have an effect on population"

The deputy head of Health Promotion, Carmen Cabezas, said that "while this data is only preliminary, we see that the vaccine is starting to have an effect on the population."

She said that early indications showed that after receiving the first dose of the vaccine, people were six times less likely to contract coronavirus once twelve days had passed.

Cabezas explained that with two doses, the vaccine is expected to be around 95% effective, and that the number of positive cases among those who have received one dose is due to the high incidence of the virus circulating in the general population at this time.

Vaccine rollout continues

Of the 161,481 people who have received the first dose of the vaccine, 48% are medical professionals, 30% are care home residents and 22% are care home staff. More than 75% of care home residents in Catalonia have now received their first dose. 872 people have received a second dose.

Public Health secretary, Josep Maria Argimon, explained that in the first three weeks of the vaccination plan, they received about 180,000 doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine (60,000 per week).

This past week, however, they received around half, 31,200, due a cut in Pfizer distribution, but are expecting a return to the normal amount, 59,475 vaccines, next week.

A strategic reserve of 20,000 of the 180,000 doses was held back to cover the expected temporary fall in deliveries.

As for the Moderna vaccine, 5,800 have been received to date and 8,500 are expected in the coming days.

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  • Imma Fornells, the first health professional to receive the second dose of the coronavirus vaccine, Creu de Palau care home, Girona, January 19, 2021 (Salut)

  • Imma Fornells, the first health professional to receive the second dose of the coronavirus vaccine, Creu de Palau care home, Girona, January 19, 2021 (Salut)

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