Covid vaccine program has started in Barcelona

In Spain, like in most countries in Europe, the vaccination campaign against Covid-19 began on December 27, 2020 in retirement homes. For the first phase of the vaccination plan, the Spanish government has chosen to give priority to the most vulnerable people (residents of senior homes and their carers, healthcare workers, ...).

After people aged 80 and over, it is now the turn of residents aged 70 to 79 to get vaccinated, followed by people in the 60 to 69 age group. These patients will receive the vaccines from Pfizer or Moderna.

The Spanish government has also opened up vaccination to new groups such as prison workers, police officers or teachers as well as health professionals who were not included in the first groups (physiotherapists, dental prosthetists, pharmacy staff, etc). These people will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.

To help you understand better the vaccine program in Spain, our doctors specializing in infectious diseases offer you to answer the most frequently asked questions.

 

Which vaccines have been approved for use in Spain?

Currently, four vaccines have been authorized by the competent authorities in Spain and are therefore used for the current vaccination campaign:

  • The BioNTech / Pfizer's Comirnaty vaccine, authorized on December 21, 2020
  • The Moderna vaccine, authorized on January 6, 2021
  • The Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine (now called Vaxzevria), authorized on January 29, 2021
  • The Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine, authorized on March 11, 2021

These vaccines have a different way of working and characteristics that the BBC has synthesized very well in this video:

How is the coronavirus vaccination campaign organized in Spain?

Due to the limited availability of the first doses of vaccine against Covid-19 in Spain, the Catalan public health agency has established a list of priority populations:

  1. Residents of senior homes and their carers
  2. Front-line health-care workers
  3. Other health-care workers
  4. Elderly with major dependencies

The first doses of vaccine were therefore used to vaccinate the populations of groups 1, then 2, and then, groups 3 and 4.

At the same time, the general population continues to be vaccinated, starting with the oldest people. The group of people between the ages of 70 and 79 can now access the vaccination, while another group of essential workers has also been opened for vaccination. This group includes teachers, health workers not yet vaccinated, police officers and prison staff.

As a consequence of a large number of AstraZeneca vaccines received in recent days, Catalonia is also opening appointments for people between 60 and 65 years old to get vaccinated. The Generalitat's also plans to vaccinate people at risk with diseases and people over 40 with Down syndrome in the coming weeks.

#yomevacuno
To know in real time the evolution of the vaccination plan in Spain and to know when you can be vaccinated, please consult the #yomevacuno website set up by the Spanish government.

Where to get vaccinated against Covid-19 in Barcelona?

If you live in Catalonia and you are part of one of the priority groups, you will be contacted by the Catalan Health Agency by SMS to make an appointment to get vaccinated. On the day of the appointment, you must present your insurance card (CIP) as well as your DNI, NIE or passport.

Multiple vaccination centers have been set up by the local government. Find the nearest to you on this map:

For now, voluntary vaccination is not yet possible and vaccines are not accessible to private clinics. If you would like to be vaccinated, please do not hesitate to contact us so that we can contact you when possible.

If you have any other questions about the Covid-19 vaccine or the disease itself, don't hesitate to make an appointment now with one of our infectious disease specialists. You can also book a covid test (PCR or antigens) to get tested in Barcelona.

Covid 19 vaccines: frequently asked questions

The Covid-19 vaccine is indicated for people 16 years of age and over, except in people who have had serious anaphylactic reactions against any component of the vaccine (active substance or one of the excipients).

Moreover, due to the lack of studies in certain specific situations, the Catalan public health agency does not recommend vaccination against Covid to the following populations:

  • People under 16
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women

Likewise, the administration of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine should be postponed in persons with a severe illness accompanied by fever.

It is still early to know all the side effects that the covid vaccination could cause, but according to most European health agencies, these seem quite mild and should disappear within hours of the injection.

Among the most frequent, we can mention:

  • Pain where the vaccine was injected
  • Tiredness/fatigue
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Fever
To relieve these symptoms, it is possible to take an analgesic such as paracetamol.
In order to be declared safe and effective, a COVID-19 vaccine must pass certain tests and standards. Organizations such as the National Academy of Sciences, the National Institutes for Health, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) use scientific data from research to help decide if and when new drugs and vaccines can become available to the public.