Health department confirms 148,000 AstraZeneca doses will not arrive as scheduled on Monday

Plans for mass vaccination centers will be disrupted as Covid-19 vaccine jabs will arrive “at least” one week later than planned

Close up shot of an AstraZeneca vaccine dose (by Marina López)
Close up shot of an AstraZeneca vaccine dose (by Marina López) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

March 25, 2021 05:37 PM

Plans for mass vaccination efforts in Catalonia have already been disrupted, as the department of health has confirmed that 148,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will not arrive as scheduled on Monday.

Instead, the jabs will be delivered “at least” one week later, so April 5 at the earliest. Even then, Catalonia’s health authorities don’t know how many vaccines will arrive on that date, as remarked by health secretary general Marc Ramentol. 

Earlier this week, authorities unveiled plans for a mass vaccination programme in Catalonia, with centers including iconic locations such as Barça’s Camp Nou stadium and the Fira de Barcelona and Fira de Girona congress halls.

Catalonia’s health minister Alba Vergés described the situation as “a shame” on social media. “Enough of this nonsense,” she added.

Ramentol lamented that this "new setback" will have "a major impact" on the mass vaccination plan and admitted that from an organizational point of view "it is very difficult to manage."

The secretary general also said it is very difficult to manage the expectations of the public because “there is a lot of demand” for vaccination among the at-risk population. 

According to the health office, this delay will not affect appointments that were already scheduled for vaccination, but it will prevent new appointments.

Covid-19 restrictions extended

In the face of growing case numbers and a rising transmission rate, health authorities have extended the current Covid-19 restrictions without change until April 9.

Restaurants and bars will continue open from 7:30 am to 5 pm straight – takeaway can be provided until 10 pm and delivery services until 11 pm, but dining areas must remain shut.

As for mobility, the county-level lockdown will continue lifted, meaning people can freely travel within Catalonia as long as they are only with their social bubble and fill out a self-responsibility statement. Regional borders within Spain will remain closed over Easter. 

The nightly curfew, introduced in late October 2020, will continue between 10 pm and 6 am except for justifiable reasons.

Other restrictions over Easter include that public gatherings will be limited to four people indoors or six people outside. Private gatherings are not allowed except among people co-habiting.