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Marcos Lopez Hoyos, the president of the Spanish Society of Immunology, has warned it is difficult to predict how long the coronavirus pandemic will last. He issued a warning masks may still need to be worn up to Christmas this year despite the vaccination process starting.
He said: “That is the best-case scenario.”
Dr Hoyos also ruled out the government’s plans to have 70 percent of the population vaccinated by the summer.
In order to do so, Dr Hoyos said the vaccine would have to be given to at least two to three percent of the Spanish population a week.
He criticised the lack of preparation and logistics during the pandemic and said there “has not been a uniform response” to the virus.
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Adding: “Once again, there is no single policy in this regard.”
He continued to say how the vaccination is “not a competition between regions or between countries”.
Dr Hoyos said: “If we do not solve the issue throughout the world, we will not be able to move forward, and that objective as long as we do not achieve vaccination in a global way, we will not achieve it.”
He also outlined how the vaccination strategy of the Interterritorial Health Council, which marks four priority groups, does not need to be followed.
He continued: “You cannot wait to vaccinate the first group first, then the second and then the third, because in the end you make the process longer.
“What we have to do is vaccinate those four groups almost simultaneously and if there are vaccines available, use them.”
Dr Hoyos admitted criticism of the vaccination rollout has caused more regions and health services to speed up the process.
He went on to explain how the vaccines against the deadly pandemic are safe and said those who have been vaccinated have not had any “serious adverse effects”.
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Dr Hoyos explained: “The vaccine has shown in trials that it is safe.
“We have already vaccinated in the world more than one million people and we have not heard of serious adverse effects.”
He added: “If there is no money, the health system doesn’t work either.
“What has been effective is to avoid social contact, and the population has been responding and enduring, but the economy is a bill that we are going to pay.”
Yesterday, Spain reported 35,878 new infections marking the highest single-day surge throughout the crisis.
Nearly 250,000 people have tested positive for the virus in the last two weeks and the infection rate has nearly tripled over the last month.
Back in December, Spain’s health minister Salvador Illa said those who reject the vaccine will be documented.
He said: “What we will have is a registry, that will also be shared with our European partners… of those who have been offered it and rejected it.
“The document will not be made public and it will be done with the utmost respect for the legislation on data protection.”
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega
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