The latest Covid-19 infection rate figures released yesterday, March 15th, show a continued decrease in the number of cases across the country.
The average incidence rate in Spain is now 128.97 per 100,000 inhabitants over the past 14 days.
Several of Spain´s 17 autonomous communities have reported rates of below 100; including the Balearic Islands (42), Valencia (44), Extremadura (55), Murcia (66), Castilla La Mancha (72), Galicia (76), La Rioja (77) and Cantabria (95).
However the rate for the Madrid region remains the highest on the mainland at 223.08 which is close to the central government´s threshold of 250 cases per 100,000 inhabitants indicating an “extreme” incidence rate.
The figures cooincided with the announcement by the Ministry of Health that Spain would suspend the AstraZeneca vaccinations for 15 days as a precaution while further tests are done into it´s safety.
Other European Union countries had already announced the suspension of the vaccine due to side-effect concerns including thrombosis and blood clots.
Over 17 million doses of the vaccine have already been administered worldwide of which nearly 1 million have been in Spain although, according to the government´s press release there have only been 11 cases of thrombosis reported.
A potential issue for Spain is that of the 1 million doses administered only a handful have had the all important second dose,which raises questions of how this group of people would be immunized.
Spain had earlier confirmed that the AstraZeneca would be used for the second phase of the governement´s vaccine roll out to people aged between 45-55.
The Spanish Health Minister, Carolina Darias, said the suspension was a precaution and ‘temporary’ for up to 2 weeks in order for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to conclude further tests.
However the World Health Organization (WHO), said that there is nothing to suggest the vaccine causes blood clots and advised that it should still be used.
To date, Spain has received a total of 6,655,195 doses of Covid-19 vaccines (4,567,095 from Pfizer-BioNTech, 387,600 from Moderna and 1,700,500 from AstraZeneca/Oxford) of which 5,644,895 have been administered including 1,693,674 of the second injection.
To date Spain has recorded 3,195,062 cases of Covid-19 of whom 72,424 have died.