THE Andalucian health service (SAS) has begun vaccinating people over 80 years of age who do not live in retirement homes.

The vaccination plan against COVID-19 continues to advance in Andalucia with the administration of the vaccine to other ‘high risk groups’.

According to the Andalucian Minister of Health and Families, Jesus Aguirre, the priority now is to vaccinate people over 80 years of age who do not live in retirement homes and who can travel by their own means to the corresponding vaccination centre.

This ‘high risk group’ belongs to group 5 and will be summoned by telephone by the Andalucian Health Service (SAS) in order of age, from oldest to youngest.

The first, therefore, will be those over 90 years of age, some 37,000 people in the community.

In Andalucia there are estimated to be 450,000 octogenarians, of which approximately 80,000 live in Malaga province.

The elderly will receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and will need to remain in the vaccination area for at least 15 minutes after being injected, so that health professionals can observe any possible side effects of the vaccine.

Andalucia is joined by 6 other communities, Aragon, Murcia, the Canary Islands, Cantabria, Catalonia and Valencia, who have also begun to administer jabs to the elderly.

Spain’s new health minister, Carolina Darias, is optimistic and has said that “the pace is adequate to achieve the immunisation of 80% of those over 80 years of age by the end of March.”

Health officials have reminded those who have been given the first dose that they should continue to maintain preventive measures such as the use of a mask, social distancing and hand hygiene, since protection against COVID-19 is not achieved until the second vaccine dose is administered.

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