From Tuesday those who haven’t yet been vaccinated can turn up at any of the region’s 133 vaccination centres and get a jab without an appointment. The centres will be open until the end of September when the mass vaccination programme will be wound up. From then on, anyone wanting a vaccination will need to go to their local health centre.
The vaccination programme began last December, starting with the most vulnerable and has worked down through age groups. Speaking at Les Corts (the regional parliament) on Friday, Valencia Health Minister, Ana Barceló, explained that the aim was to have 70% of the population double-jabbed by 9 October but that 80% were already fully inoculated, five weeks ahead of schedule.
She also said that half of those over 12 would start the new school year having had both doses of their coronavirus vaccine, and that within two weeks of the new term beginning all students over 12 would be fully protected.
She thanked those who had got the jab, praising their implication and exemplary behaviour and said that by going to vaccination centres they were not only protecting themselves from Covid-19 but protecting society as a whole. She asked the 52,154 people who had specifically rejected the offer of vaccination to rethink their decision, explaining that thanks to the vaccine the lethality of the virus had been greatly reduced. She added that 82.5% of those in intensive care were not fully vaccinated and among other hospital admissions 57.8% had not received both jabs.
Barceló explained that the figures show we are heading out of the fourth wave and that the region once again has one of the lowest rates of coronavirus infection, only behind Asturias and the Canary Islands.
However, she pointed out that nobody is safe form this virus, with 50% of those in UCI between 30 and 59, but that 14% are in their 20s and just 12% are over 70. She remembered the 7,683 Valencians who have died from coronavirus during the pandemic, offering a message of support to families who have lost loved ones.