The president of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig, has announced a plan to accelerate vaccination with 42 new stable points to administer booster doses to citizens and has also advanced that he will request authorisation from the Superior Court of Justice of the Valencian Community (TSJCV) to require the mandatory COVID passport to enter the interior of all types of hospitality and restaurant establishments, regardless of their capacity, as well as to access cinemas, gyms and sports centres of various kinds.
This has been explained by the head of the Valencian Government during his appearance, together with the Minister of Universal Health and Public Health, Ana Barceló, to explain the agreements adopted at the Interdepartmental Table for Prevention and Action against COVID-19.
The new stable vaccination points will enable 147 teams to administer the booster doses and will work by appointment, so that people will be notified by SMS or by phone. These points will be located in places such as sports centres, retirement homes or spaces integrated into hospitals, all with the aim of decongesting Primary Care and speeding up immunization.
The Conselleria de Sanidad Universal will make an appointment first to administer the booster doses to people aged 60 to 69 who still do not have it, those vaccinated with AstraZeneca and those immunised with Janssen. Later, it will continue with the age group of 50 to 59 years and, later, with that of 40 to 49 years.
In parallel, the drop-in vaccination points for the first and second doses will continue to operate. In fact, this week there will be 23 mobile points in operation.
COVID passport extension
On the other hand, as the president has emphasised, the endorsement of the TSJCV will be requested to demand the COVID certificate until next January 31 in all hotel and restaurant establishments, for which it is proposed to eliminate the exemption for premises that have a capacity of less than 50 people, and the requirement of this is also extended to all public places where people eat or drink, such as cinemas, multipurpose rooms, circuses and party venues.
In addition, the COVID passport will be necessary to access spaces with catering services in tourist accommodation, as well as sports facilities, indoor swimming pools and recreational centres for the elderly. In gyms, not only this certificate will be required, but also the permanent use of the mask.
“This is the response of the Valencian Government” to the evolution of the pandemic, awaiting the Conference of Presidents and Presidents convened for this Wednesday, in which the president will defend the need to adopt measures such as those implemented in the Valencian Community and it will listen to those raised in this forum for governance, within the objective of “generating credibility” in the public and in order to give a “joint impulse” to overcoming the pandemic.
“Safer spaces” and “more protected people”
With the reinforcement of vaccination and the extension of the COVID passport, the aim is to guarantee “safer spaces” and “more protected people”, said the president, who has justified the need for these measures in which, in a month, infections and hospitalized people have tripled and ICU admissions are also almost triple.
“We have to adapt to the new scenario and change our mentality,” said Puig, who has asked citizens for “prudence” to face these holidays, because, as he said, “we did not get to Christmas as we expected.”
For this reason, he has asked for “common sense” and to celebrate Christmas avoiding crowds and massive family gatherings and fulfilling quarantines before contacts with positives.
The president has advocated, however, for “fleeing from scaremongering.” “We are on alert, but not in a state of alarm,” he said, and recalled that “at the worst moment of the pandemic – still without vaccines – we had 4,800 hospitalised, that is, seven times more than today, and 670 people in critical condition, that is to say, five times more than today “.
Confidence in vaccination
In this sense, he also wanted to convey a message of confidence in the effectiveness of vaccination, and stressed that, at the moment, 93.7% of Valencian men and women are already vaccinated. “On January 14, with the same incidence as now, we had 3,000 hospitalised,” he recalled.
Given this, he considers it “crucial” to intensify vaccination with the reinforcement of the third doses, childhood vaccination, and the first doses to the most reluctant, and in this regard, he has reported that the 9 million doses administered have already been exceeded. “This means that we have 4.2 million Valencians protected with the complete guideline, and today we will exceed 1.3 million third doses in the most vulnerable population,” he said.
He also pointed out that “in just 3 days, 50,000 Valencian children from 9 to 11 years old have already been vaccinated” and that this first phase will conclude on Wednesday and will resume after the holidays.
On the other hand, Puig has remarked that the entry into force of the COVID passport meant multiplying by five the number of people who have received the first dose, with 28,000 new people vaccinated in a week.