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Only 43% of over-60s have already been vaccinated with the fourth dose against covid-19

something more than half a million Valencians over the age of 60 (514,444 according to data from the Ministry of Health) have already received the second booster dose of the covid-19 vaccinein addition to that adapted to the new variants of omicron that are in circulation. The figure assumes that today 43% of the over 60s They are protected against severe forms of COVID-19 after receiving this fourth sting.

Data not bad but yes they are behind both those of the rest of Spain as there were last year pretty much the same dates in relation to the first covid booster dose and all that at the gates of the month of December, the quintessential month of irruption and proliferation of respiratory viruses as the complaint but now also covid-19 which is already present in health centers and hospitals.

Later, slower, less interest

There’s not a single reason to explain why you’re ′′ behind ′′ in this vaccination campaign. The first and main one is that after deciding that the fourth dose of covid would be combined with the flu (as was done last year) this meant start later than the rest of the autonomous communities which, in many cases, lead to two weeks before immunisation to people over the age of 60, an age group that the Ministry of Health has decided to protect with this booster dose. In addition to going later, the vaccination rate It’s not like last year. The proof is that after the same weeks of vaccination, it is now below last year’s data, by at least eight percentage points.

There are those who have overcome the disease and cannot be vaccinated, but also those who are not interested in another dose

There is a third explanation that also weighs down the coverage data of this campaign: there are less interest from the elderly to be immunized now against covid. There are those who go to get vaccinated but refuse it because have recently had the disease and now they have to wait five months to get vaccinated but there are also they prefer not to receive the fourth sting. After two and a half years of the pandemic and three doses of the vaccine, many seniors are considering themselves sufficiently protected against the severe forms of the disease, even if the immune response is less developed in old age. In fact, of the people who continue to die weekly of covid, the vast majority are elderly with multiple underlying diseases.

More flu vaccines

This explains why, despite the fact that the two vaccines are administered simultaneously, vaccination coverage now against the flu is higher than that of covid, despite being in practically the same population: 43% of over-64s protected from covid and 54% of over-64s from the flu. This last “detachment” point to the campaign will be the one that will finally decide what percentage of people will reach the “fourth” covid sting, even if the experts of the Ministry of Health are clear that the time of pandemic and tiredness have taken over all over the world and last year’s very high coverage will not be achieved among the elderly and that they reach 95% among the over 70s and 97% among the over 60s.

Health experts clarify that the “detachment” at the fourth dose will prevent this year from achieving the high coverage of the previous one

For now, those who are practically all immunized are the elderly who are there some residence, which received the sting between the end of September and the beginning of October. Since the start of the double sting campaign in health centers on October 17, the 59.56% of over-80s; the 47.11% of those between 70 and 79 years old and only 22.27% of sixty-year-olds although it must be taken into account that the latter have begun to be mentioned recently.

Sources within the health administration confirm that despite the current low numbers, the the vaccination rate is good and, as the weeks go by, these percentages may rise, even if last year’s success may not be achieved. For now, and as announced by the Minister Miguel MinguezHealth will begin to perform shooting campaigns via SMS remind all the elderly who have been summoned and have not shown up, that they can proceed to get both vaccines. If necessary, the department has the reopening of some vaccination points is also planned without an appointment to facilitate the arrival of the fourth dose to as many as possible.

Flu vaccine for everyone from day one

Anyone who wants to get vaccinated against the flu, regardless of age, can do so request it from this Thursday 1 December. This was the date scheduled in the Ministry of Health calendar after seven weeks earlier (since the start of the campaign on October 17) have been reserved for giving priority in health centers to those over 60 years old for the covid vaccine and for the over 64s for the flu. It should be remembered that Healthcare wants to try to break through the ceiling of 72% of elderly people protected from the flu and that this year the vaccine will reach 75% of the population at this age.

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