Germans Escalas vaccination point in Palma.

Germans Escalas vaccination point in Palma.

17-09-2021M. À. Cañellas

The Balearic Islands are now at the tail end of the vaccination programme and there are no longer queues at mass immunisation points.

Since vaccinations began on December 27, 2020, 1,563,437 doses have been administered and as of September 17, 841,202 people had received their first dose and 813,437 are fully vaccinated.

But 193,665 of the over 12s have still not been vaccinated and another 7,765 have only had one jab, according to IB-Salut.

24,430 have refused to be immunised and 60% of the people registered in the Balearic Islands could not be contacted.

Eugenia Carandell, who’s in charge of the vaccination programme says that’s because of the number of temporary workers on the Islands.

Outpatient clinics are still trying to contact those who’ve not been immunised, most of whom are in their 40s or 50s.

In the beginning there was a shortage of doses, but now the entire country has a stock of vaccines, including Balearic Islands, which had 320,772 doses in the fridge as of last Sunday.

256,630 Pfizer/BioNTech doses, which are stored in an ultra-cold freezer at a temperature of between -80º and -60ºC have an expiry date of 6 months or less if the temperature is lower.

The Ministry of Health has asked Pfizer to delay the shipment planned for this week, IB-Salut insists that batches stored in the Balearics are nowhere near their expiration date.

Progressive closure

Now that most of the Balearic population has been vaccinated, IB-Salut has started de-escalating the vaccination programme.

Immunisation points in Minorca and Ibiza and at Son Espases Hospital have already been closed and a new space in External Consultations is open from 08:00-14:00.

Next week the vaccination points at the Mateu Cañellas sports centre in Inca and Manacor racecourse will close.

The Germans Escalas immunisation point will stay open until September 29; people can get vaccinated at Son Dureta between 08:00 and 20:00 any day without an appointment and at Health Centres on Wednesdays by appointment.

IB-Salut is also planning to take a mobile unit to the UIB to persuade people to get vaccinated.

From October 4, a third dose of the Covid vaccine will be administered to people living in residences and to cancer patients, hemodialysis an oncohematological patients and those with Down syndrome who are over 40, as agreed by the Public Health commission.

A report by international experts claims that a third dose would not enhance immunity, but researchers in Israel are adamant that a booster jab would be highly effective.

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