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Overnight, between Tuesday and Wednesday this week, Spain's Covid-19 vaccination levels soared 10 points, from 77.5% of the population fully vaccinated to 87.4% on Wednesday. However, in absolute numbers, the increase was much more modest: from 36,771,680 Spaniards to 36,802,767. What happened? The Spanish health ministry changed its calculation basis for the vaccinated population. Now, it no longer takes into account the total Spanish population, but rather the 'target population', that is, all those over 12 years of age, the population that can, at present, be vaccinated.

Thus, as the newspaper 20 Minutos reported, the health ministry excluded children under 12 from the total base population. This removes a large unvaccinated group from the total, and therefore, significantly increases the percentage of "Spaniards" who are shown as protected. In fact, the two rates - for the total population and the target population - both appeared in previous reports. Now, however, it seems that the priority is those over 12 years old, 87.4% of whom have had their jabs. The digital newspaper also highlights a curious fact: that neither of the two calculations methods coincide with that used by the European Commission and the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC), which takes as its reference the adult population, that is, those over 18 years old.

Third vaccine dose for over-70s

On the other hand, the health ministry also now includes people who have received the third dose, says 20 Minutos. Thus, there will now be a daily count of the number of people who have been receiving a third dose against covid. The latest data indicate that 265,541 people in Spain have already received it: 219,598 with Pfizer, and 45,943 with Moderna.

The administration of a third dose of Covid vaccine, which began in Catalonia for care-home residents and some others in mid-September, will pick up speed after October 25th, when it is to be generalised for all persons over 70 in Spain. As well, those over the age of 65 who were fully vaccinated more than six months ago will be eligible for a third dose.   

In Catalonia, the data this Thursday shows that a total of 5,916,694 (3,508 in the last 24 hours) have had their first vaccine dose. 5,065,528 people have received the second dose of the vaccine (6,107 in the last 24 hours). In fact, 5,771,258 Catalan residents are fully vaccinated (8,750 in the last hours) - here, it must be borne in mind that the Janssen jab only requires a single dose.

72.8% of the Catalan population is now fully vaccinated. That is, with two doses - or one if it's Janssen. The addition of the third dose will increase protection, but its "injection" into the statistics could offer new potential for mathematical confusion.

Below, percentages of Catalan population groups who are fully vaccinated: 



Main image: A medical worker prepares to administer a dose of Pfizer  / Efe