AP PHOTOS: Spain takes vaccines to the rural homebound

May 8, 2021 GMT

SA POBLA, Spain (AP) — While thousands flock daily to health clinics and ad-hoc vaccination points across Spain, health workers also fan out across the country to take shots to some of those who are the most vulnerable to the coronavirus.

Over a million Spaniards are considered by social services to be in need of help to feed and care for themselves. Some of these people are homebound and cannot respond to calls to go to vaccination points when their turn comes.

So on the island of Mallorca, health workers take the jabs to them.

Pilar Rodríguez is one of three nurses in the town of Sa Pobla in the interior of the island administering shots there and in nearby villages.

On her rounds of the area on foot, she is welcomed amiably by older people, many unable to leave their chair or bed. So far, Rodríguez said, she and her colleagues have vaccinated over 70 people at their homes in the rural area. They have all received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the shot leading Spain’s campaign.

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Rodríguez and her co-workers carry the vaccines in hand-held coolers to the first home on their day’s circuit, where they prepare the shots. From that first stop, they walk to the other homes to make sure they avoid any jolts a car could deal the shots.

“Rain or storm, the vaccines must reach the homes,” Rodríguez said.

Spain has set the goal of vaccinating 70% of its adult population — some 33 million people — by the end of August. After being slowed by delays in shipments from drug makers, Spain has sped up its vaccination efforts and now has gotten at least one shot to almost 13 million people.

The government’s priority is the elderly and most vulnerable. It has completely vaccinated 95% of people over 80.

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