The boost to the covid passport accelerates vaccination among those under 40 years of age

Queues to get vaccinated at the Wizink Center in Madrid. / EP

The communities injected 124,083 first doses since November 15, compared to the 93,164 administered in the previous eleven days

Alvaro Soto

The vaccination points once again show images that have not been seen since the end of July: long lines of people waiting to receive their puncture. Most of those who stand in line are over 60 years old who are waiting to receive the third dose, once the Ministry of Health gave the go-ahead to this extra puncture last Tuesday, but younger faces are also observed, under 40 years that after months of doubts, now yes, they have decided to inoculate the vaccines.

The promotion of the covid passport in several communities and the possibility that some more claim it before Christmas, a time of celebrations, parties and meetings, has worked the miracle of convincing many of those who previously were indecisive or directly, were deniers. From November 15, when the debate on this certificate was stirred, until November 26 (latest data available), the autonomous communities have injected 124,083 first doses, mainly in the groups between 20 and 29 years old and between 30 and 39 , compared to the 93,164 that they had administered in the previous eleven days. That is to say, in this period there has been an increase of 33% and some regional governments, such as Castilla y León, have already announced that they are planning to reopen the ‘vacunadromes’. “Vaccination, vaccination, vaccination” is the mantra repeated last week by the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, in each of her public appearances. Of course, his department, for now, refuses to establish a common doctrine on the covid pass.

The covid passport is already the key to being able to enter hospitality and nightlife establishments in six communities, where the higher courts of justice have given it the green light. But it’s not just for fun. The certificate is also necessary, in some autonomies, to be able to visit relatives admitted or who live in nursing homes. For example, Galicia asks for it to access hospitals and nightlife; Aragon, for mass events and wedding banquets; Navarra, for discos and restaurants with more than 60 diners; Murcia, in places where one hundred percent capacity is allowed; and Catalonia, for gyms, bars, restaurants and nursing homes. Precisely in Catalonia the requests to obtain the COVID certificate were triggered after the endorsement of the justice, in such a way that even the website where this document can be obtained collapsed.

In addition, other autonomies hope to receive the endorsement of their superior courts in the coming days, such as the Valencian Community, and even the Supreme Court, where the Basque Country will go after not having received the green light from its superior. On September 14, the Supreme Court ruled for the first time on the covid passport when attending a resource from the Xunta de Galicia and authorizing the possibility of demanding this safe conduct to enter the leisure and hospitality establishments of that community. Then, the High Court argued that it was a “suitable, necessary and proportionate” measure to avoid new positives, temporarily and in the event of a high risk of contagion. But this last formulation, too subjective, left a wide margin for interpretation, so in the coming days or weeks, after the appeal of the Basque Country, the court will have to clarify the criteria to consider that an area is in a situation of « high risk ”.

“The covid certificate is a measure that makes perfect sense in this epidemiological situation and in certain environments,” says the vice president of the Spanish Association of Vaccination (AEV), Fernando Moraga-Llop. For his part, the president of the National Association of Nursing and Vaccines (Anenvac), José Antonio Forcada, supports the covid passport “and any measure that makes more people get vaccinated.” “Now we find ourselves in an epidemic of the unvaccinated, who are mostly people under 40 years of age and children,” says Forcada, who asks the judicial authorities for “greater scientific sensitivity” in their decisions. But also, the head of Anenvac focuses on another aspect: in the coming weeks, there will be first vaccinated, third doses, vaccination of children and flu vaccination. “As nurses we are going to dedicate ourselves almost exclusively to giving vaccines and other important tasks may be neglected. We need people, “he claims.

In addition to the covid pass, the appearance of the new variant of the virus, the already feared omicron, may also mean another boost for vaccination. Although the vaccine escape from this variant is still unknown, scientists agree that anyone who has received a vaccine is less likely to become infected, suffer a serious illness, be hospitalized or die than someone who has not been vaccinated.

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