It has been more than three months since the vaccination began in Spain, on December 27, 2020, and its results can be seen in the data that has been updated for a few weeks by the Institute for the Elderly and Social Services (Imserso). Among the first to receive their doses were the elderly who live in residences and health and social health workers and these centers have managed to reduce the new diagnosed cases and, with them, deaths. From 771 deaths with confirmed contagion in a week at the beginning of the year to one from March 29 to April 4. An ephemeral figure that has risen to 18 deaths, according to the latest study until April 11. Partly due to the fact that Madrid has begun to include in its count the deaths whose death occurred in the hospital, as do the rest of the regions.
The decrease in cases and deaths, with their exceptions, is repeated throughout Spain, being more accentuated in the regions of the Valencian Community or Murcia, where the new cases confirmed in a week reached 7% and 5%, respectively , of the total number of residents. With the latest data, all the communities are around zero. Madrid has the highest percentage, with almost 1% of its older residents infected in a week. In any case, a minimum data. In Spain there were 60 infections diagnosed from April 5 to 11: 33 of them in Madrid, seven in Castilla y León, another seven in Aragon, five in the Basque Country, three in Catalonia and Castilla-La Mancha and one in Andalusia and the Valencian Community .
As for the deaths of people with confirmed contagion, the Madrid community is once again the protagonist, adding thirteen of the 18 total. After not doing so throughout the pandemic, the region has begun to count the residents whose death occurred in a hospital center and the Imserso explains that “this information from previous weeks is in the process of being obtained.” In addition, in the study week there were two deaths of the elderly in Catalonia and one in Aragon, Castilla-La Mancha and Navarra, respectively.
The situation of nursing homes for the elderly against the coronavirus is an issue that has been at the center of debate during the pandemic. The lethality of the virus is higher in older people and until April 11, according to data recorded by the Imserso, 30,191 people have died in Spain in residential centers, most of them in homes for the elderly (29,544, a 97.8%). People who had a confirmed infection (19,052) or who died with a clinical picture compatible with covid (10,492). And despite the fact that there has been a notable improvement in terms of access to this information, with a weekly update, the truth is that there are still some gaps. This is the case, for example, of Andalusia, which has 22 deaths without date assignment, but prior to March 29, since “since then there has been no death in the region in all residential centers.” In the aforementioned case of Madrid, at the expense of reviewing its data on deceased residents in hospital centers, this total number of deaths is expected to increase.
The coronavirus entered the homes with force and vaccines were prioritized initially for the elderly in these centers and social health workers. The first doses of Pfizer began to be inoculated on December 27 and 21 days later the first vaccinated were immunized (after the two required doses). According to the latest report from the Ministry of Health, until April 14, 91.3% of institutionalized people – most of them elderly in nursing homes – have the complete guideline. It must also be borne in mind that there are people who decide not to get vaccinated or cannot do so for medical reasons.
In this sense, one of the great doubts of vaccination against the coronavirus is whether vaccines, in addition to producing the antibodies that help fight the virus, also reduce transmissibility. That is, the possibility that a vaccinated person, if infected, can infect others is reduced and to what extent. Questions such as how long immunity lasts or how different variants of the coronavirus will affect it also remain to be resolved. With the data in nursing homes, to date there has been a reduction of close to 98% in infections (from 4,479 in mid-January to the current 60) and, with it, of 97% in the death toll (from 771 deaths at the end of January to 18). Although the cases diagnosed in the previous week were 47 and there was only one death.
These data, which are provisional and are one week late, in any case escape what happens outside the centers, while the accumulated incidence continues to rise in Spain as a result of the Holy Week holiday.
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