The Balearic health ministry is considering opening another vaccination centre for all those under the age of 60 whose second dose is pending because the first was with the AstraZeneca vaccine. The criteria for the use of this vaccine changed last month.
Health minister Patricia Gómez says that logistically it is a complex process. Vaccination "weeks" start on Wednesdays. By Thursday next week, she hopes that doses of vaccine can be reserved for this group. The second doses are likely to be Pfizer or they could be AstraZeneca, if people give their prior informed consent for AstraZeneca to be administered.
Some 38,000 people are affected. They are mostly health workers who are not on the frontline and professionals such as teachers. Gómez stresses that decisions will always be taken according to instructions from health experts, adding that results of a 'CombiVacs' study have been very positive. In France and Germany, a second dose of Pfizer was adopted without any prior study.
Where incidence of the virus is high, Gómez explains, supplying a second dose of AstraZeneca is justified because the benefit far outweighs the few adverse effects. If the incidence is low, which it is in the Balearics, Pfizer is an option. Although the combination can have mild side effects, there is no risk of thrombosis.
Meanwhile, the health ministry is looking to take on retired nurses in the summer. IB-Salut would like some 250 retired nurses under the age of 70 who can reinforce the vaccination campaign and act as holiday cover. They would be employed until the end of December.