Almost five months into its vaccine campaign, Spain continues to pick up the pace of inoculation, setting a new record on May 14th with 622,767 people vaccinated in one day.
Around 7 million people (14 percent of the population) have now received the full Covid-19 inoculation, and 15 million (31 percent) have received both doses.
This is having an overwhelmingly positive impact in terms of the prevalence of coronavirus infections, hospitalisations and deaths in Spain, as the following points will showcase.
1.Covid deaths in over-80s are down by 86 percent: Almost 100 percent of Spain’s over 80s have now received their full vaccine treatment.
According to data from Spain’s Carlos III Health Institute, Covid infections in this age group have dropped by an average of 44 percent every month since Spain’s vaccination campaign started on December 27th 2020.
This is a crucial drop as Covid deaths among the country’s over-80s represent around half of Spain’s total coronavirus death toll of 79,432. Once Spain’s over-70s are fully vaccinated, the reduction in coronavirus fatalities could be even greater as 80 percent of all Covid deaths have occured in this age group.
2.Weekly Covid deaths have dropped by 90 percent: Since late January 2021, weekly Covid deaths in Spain have dropped by 90 percent.
This has been particularly noticeable in care homes – where in the last week of January 778 elderly people died in Spain, whereas from April 26th to May 2nd only 6 Covid deaths were recorded in these residencias (care homes).
3.Hospital occupation has dropped below 30 percent in May: According to Spain’s Health Ministry, as of May 14th there were 7,000 Covid patients hospitalised with Covid-19 in Spain, the lowest figure since September 3rd 2020.
4.ICU bed occupancy has also dropped to 20 percent in May: So far this month the number of people admitted to intensive care units in Spain has dropped by 377.
Spain’s national average is still in the high risk classification for potentially overwhelmed hospitals, given that there are regions such as the Basque Country (38.4 percent), Madrid (32 percent), La Rioja (32 percent) Catalonia (30 percent) and Aragón (30 percent) were ICU units are under pressure.
But overall Spain is 4 points away from moving into the medium risk category for ICU occupancy.
5.Spain’s infection rate is almost at the medium risk category: As of May 18th, the national fortnightly infection rate stands at 151 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, just one point away from moving from the “high risk” to the “medium risk” category.
This comes after the incidence of the virus rose again over Easter during the country’s fourth wave, and half of Spain was in the “extreme risk” level with more than 250 fortnightly infections per 100,000 people.
There are still plenty of new cases- 11,061 just over the weekend – but overall the prevalence of the virus is dropping. Vaccines, together with other barriers and restrictions, are playing a pivotal role in reducing Covid infections, especially serious ones.