Young people being vaccinated.

Young people being vaccinated.

21-07-2021Ultima Hora

The Ministry Health is preparing a raft of measures to encourage young people to get vaccinated, which include making it easier to get an appointment and having younger people on the team to persuade 16-39 year olds to have the jab.

Vaccination for 16-29 year olds in the Balearics opened on July 1 and within 24 hours, 41,000 people had requested an appointment.

20,711 young people aged 16-29 have now had both jabs; 85,607 have had their first dose of the vaccine and 275 refused to be immunised.

Including data for the 30-39 age group; 56,732 have had both jabs, 94,250 have had their first dose of the vaccine and 639 refused to be immunised. The flood of appointments has dropped sharply in recent days.

On Wednesday the number of people aged 20-49 admitted to hospital exceeded all other age groups.

"This is a qualitative change and most of them are the parents of younger people,” according to Dr Javier Arranz, spokesman for the Autonomous Committee for the Management of Infectious Diseases in the Balearic Islands.

The Ministry of Health says there has also been an increase in patients aged zero-19 being admitted to hospital.

“The cases remain low but are beginning to be noticeable," said Dr Arranz. "That is why it is so important that vaccination continues at a good pace, and does not stagnate."

Free appointments

Last week, 15% of appointments in Mallorca were vacant; 30% in Formentera and 45% in Ibiza.

"It's always the same, a flood of appointments in the first few days and a sharper decline afterwards," said IB-Salut. "The data is very positive, but we can't be happy with the numbers. The more people who are vaccinated the better and the less time it takes, the better. Our goal is to have the maximum number people vaccinated.”

The slow down is being attributed to mobility amongst the younger population who are moving home, taking holidays and enjoying the summer season and opting not to get vaccinated until September, when they return to their normal daily routine.

Measures

To avoid a slow-down in the vaccination rate, the Ministry of Health has partnered with various Island councils to promote immunisation and is urging summer school monitors and leisure clubs to vaccinate their students to avoid Covid outbreaks.

To eliminate fear of the vaccine and encourage young people to make an appointment the Ministry of Health has turned to influential figures, such as the Real Mallorca players, who participated in a Government campaign to ‘Beat Covid’. Joan Sastre and Dani Rodríguez are appealing to young people via video on social media websites to get vaccinated and more videos are planned with other Mallorcan personalities.

The BitCita App is being improved to make it easier for users to locate hospitals and health centres with vaccination spaces available.

The Ministry stresses that "this campaign is not intended to criminalise young people in any way, it wants to involve them and make them part of the team to help overcome the pandemic."

In France, anyone who is not fully vaccinated won’t be able to access public places from August and the same measures may be imposed in Italy if vaccine numbers don’t improve.

Spain has already vaccinated a high percentage of the population, so it’s unlikely that public access restrictions will be introduced in the Balearic Islands.

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