A question being considered by many of the people not yet vaccinated – especially since people in Spain are being encouraged to take holidays ‘at home in Spain’ this summer – What happens if I am on holiday when I get a text through with my vaccine appointment?
News emerged this week that health authorities in the Valencian Community will this week begin vaccinating 51 to 59 year olds. Despite supply issues for some of the vaccines, the vaccination campaign in the region is progressing at a steady rate. It is expected that in mid June, 40 to 50 year olds will be issued with vaccine appointments (See page 3 of this week’s Costa Blanca People).
Much of the population is looking forward to returning to some sort of normality this summer and that includes taking a holiday away from home. With June, July and August the three most popular months for holidays, it is expected that some of us will get the call during the height of summer. If Janssen delivers on its expected 400,000 doses for the Valencian Community as agreed during June, July and August, even more appointments can be issued during the busy summer months. This vaccine will allow immunization with a single dose to almost 40% of the population.
Health officials want 33 million Spaniards to be vaccinated before the end of August and plans to accelerate vaccination during the summer. So it is very likely that many ‘Valencians’ will begin to receive text notifications of appointments on their mobile phones right in the middle of their summer break.
The Ministry of Health has anticipated this exact circumstance and it seems that it has already prepared a protocol to keep up the rhythm of vaccine appointments without patients having to sacrifice their holiday, or having to change summer plans at the last minute.
Health officials explained that if a patient receives a text message with an appointment and is on holiday (or cannot attend at the agreed time for an important and justifiable reason), they can simply notify their local health centre and their appointment will be passed to another patient and they themselves go back on the waiting list.
The Health Department insists that everyone who misses an appointment will be summoned again to be vaccinated. When the patient notifies that they will not be able to attend the appointment, they will move back on to the waiting list and when all the people in that age group have received the vaccine, Health will resume issuing appointments of those who could not receive the vaccine in the first round.