30th Mar 2021 @ 9:16 am

The Canaries has now fully immunised over 100,000 people with two doses of vaccine, and will continue its Covid immunisation programme over Easter, despite a serious shortfall in the supply of AstraZeneca vaccines.

On Sunday, the Canarian Health Service received just 5,100 doses of the AZ jab, when it had been expecting 40,000.  The continued failure of AstraZeneca to meet its promises is causing widespread discontent throughout Europe, as vaccination campaigns throughout the continent face delays. The UK also faces a shortage of the AZ vaccine this month, and limited supplies have caused a furious international row about exports.

Yesterday, over 23,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived on the Canaries, and 14,190 doses of the Moderna vaccine are expected today. These two vaccines are currently being used to administer second doses to the population over 80 , and it is the 60 to 65 years old age group, along with ancillary health workers and those in essential jobs, who are most likely to suffer delays from the AZ shortfall.

The Canarian Health Service will continue to carry out vaccinations throughout the Easter holidays this week, although they have stated that the rate may fall a little due to staff taking holidays.

On Lanzarote, appointments for vaccinations are  made over the telephone, which means it is a good idea to ensure your local health centre has the correct details. The amount of vaccines, the number of people in the various priority groups and the amount of confirmed appointments in any health area mean that the time of the call is impossible to predict.

Although fears about the AZ jab’s links to blood clots have been exaggerated, and Canarians have shown little reluctance to receiving it, the Spanish government has confirmed that anyone has the right to refuse a vaccine. However, no one can select the type of vaccine they may receive (vaccines are allocated to priority groups). In the case of a refusal, it is likely that  the person could re-register for a vaccine at some point in the future, but there is no guarantee when this will occur, or which vaccine will be available.

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