In a few days The second quarter of the year begins: the key quarter in the vaccination campaign and it is because of a simple question of magnitudes. If during this first phase Spain has received just over eight and a half million doses, by the end of June the Ministry of Health expects to have received 37.8 million doses. The momentum of Pfizer and the landing of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, may lead us to the gates of summer with a radically different scenario from the current one.
But how does all this translate? What does it really mean? Will we get to achieve group immunity (that 70% of the immunized population) in time to regain some normality in summer? The time has come to confront what we would like, what we expect and what is technically possible in order to prepare for it.
The “moment of truth” is not going to be a bed of roses
For months, the main problem that prevented thinking about the vaccination campaign was the lack of data. No longer of clear and systematic data, but the same lack of rough estimates that would allow us to define the playing field. As the European vaccine controversy has put pressure on the Commission and national capitals, they have been specifying schedules and making explicit the doses they expected to receive.
With these data on the table and taking into account the times and efficiencies of each injectable, it seems clear that vaccinations in Spain will be supported by Pfizer vaccines and, as the quarter progresses, also on Johnson & Johnson. AstraZeneca had very considerable numbers (180 million at the European level), but mistrust around the pharmaceutical company has caused the forecasts to be cut to 70 million. Moderna continues to have the same limited role that it has been playing since the beginning.
However, when we integrate all the forecasts, the figures begin to fit: if everything goes well (there are no more delays and we are able to put all the vaccines that arrive), we may be able to reach 25 million vaccinated by the end of June. We would be very close to 70% of the adult population (27.4 million); And, although to reach the magical 32 million we would have enough left, we would have it at hand before the end of summer.
This is good news, but it should not make us forget the large number of conditionals that these estimates hide. Not only is it that, as we have seen all these months, doses tend to be delayed; is to carry out this vaccination campaign successfully it involves putting in almost half a million doses a day for many weeks. In other words, it entails subjecting the health system to very significant pressure. Something we have never done for so long.
They come hard days in which the robustness and adaptability of healthcare will be put into play once again Spanish. Even more so if we suffer a “fourth wave” and the rebound in cases that we are seeing throughout Europe ends up becoming a greater overload in the emergency and ICUs of the country. However, we are beginning to see the light and the figures are beginning to be manageable. It only remains that we can achieve it.