THE Junta has declared Andalucia ready to administer the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine as soon as it becomes available.
The availability of the vaccine depends on the central Government, which is currently negotiating with the pharma giant and distribution companies.
The breakthrough to find a vaccine was announced by Pfizer earlier this week.
The mechanisms by which the vaccine will reach the autonomous communities for administration is dependent on the Ministry of Health in coordination with the regional governments.
The Regional Minister of Health, Jesus Aguirre, has stated that Andalucia is prepared to administer the vaccine against COVID-19 when it becomes available.
It is expected that the first batch of 20 million doses will arrive to Spain in early 2021 and will be distributed free of charge via Spain’s National Health System.
One of the main obstacles with the new Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, found to be 90% effective, is that it needs to be refrigerated at -70C to -80C, which is about 50 degrees colder than the average vaccine used in Spain.
This creates a challenge for distribution and storage, as most hospitals can only refrigerate at around -2 to -8 degrees.
At this temperature, the vaccine would spoil after five days.
However Aguirre assures that ‘all Andalucian hospitals have the correct storage units and refrigerators for its conservation’.
“We are perfectly coordinated so that the vaccines reach the hospital refrigerators and are kept at -80C,” he said.
“We know that they can be kept between 4 and 8 days outside this temperature meaning there will be no problem with their distribution throughout the territory, which will be done with liquid nitrogen refrigerators.”
Aguirre added that the Regional Ministry of Health has also purchased 25 million syringes for the administration of the double-dose vaccine.
According to Aguirre, the fourth round of the national seroprevalence study is also ready.
The nationwide population-based study aims to estimate the real number of SARS-CoV-2 infections in Spain at the national and regional level.
Screening of the participants will take place between November 16 and 27.
“I ask the Andalucian people to be responsible and supportive, as they have already shown in the first wave, and to come and take the tests if they are selected, these studies are very important for everyone,” Aguiree said.
Likewise, the health minister called on Andalucians to continue getting their flu vaccinations.
As of this Tuesday, 1.8 million people have already been vaccinated against infection by influenza viruses, more than in the entire 2019 campaign.