This is the rolling coronavirus story for Sunday 25 April 2021
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Hospital occupancy in Almería drops to figures from the beginning of the third wave
On Friday, it was possible to drop below 40 critical patients for the first time since January 14
This Sunday there are 114 people admitted, of which 39 are in the ICU
Little by little the situation of the Almeria hospitals is improving. Although there are still a large number of patients with COVID-19. In fact, this Sunday it has increased again, with two more people entering in total, one of them in the Intensive Care Unit. Right now there are 114 hospitalized patients, 39 of them in the ICU.
But at least there is a small note of hope in this regard: this Friday for the first time since January it was possible to drop below 40 people in the ICU. That had not happened since January 14 - there were 37 critical admitted at the time.
Although the current figures are still very high, they are data similar to the levels of the beginning of the third wave. In total figures, the 114 current admitted is the lowest occupation since January 8, when there were 108.
It seems clear, therefore, that Easter has not caused a new wave as expansive as that after Christmas. It's been more than three weeks since the parties ended, so its consequences should have already been noticed.
More than 1,200 vaccinations given on Saturday
On the other hand, the vaccination process continues seven days a week, taking advantage of all the doses sent by the Government. In fact, the president of the Junta de Andalucía, Juanma Moreno, highlighted on Friday during her visit to Almería that this is the Andalusian province in which more vaccines have been injected than those received. A percentage that is close to 100%.
This Saturday 1,232 more doses of the different pharmaceutical companies were put. With it, there are already another 758 people fully immunized. In total, there are 50,951 people from Almería who have received the double dose, that is, 7% of the population.
Since the end of December, a total of 197,389 vaccines have been inoculated in Almería, and there are already 20.12% of Almería who have at least the first dose in place (146,438 people).
Moderna vaccine to be part produced in Granada
"Moderna has entrusted us with its vaccine thanks to the Rovi plant in Granada"
The pharmaceutical company Rovi will allocate its plant in the PTS to manufacture one hundred million annual doses of sera against the coronavirus
The staff will be doubled to be able to produce already in summer
Since last summer, the Rovi laboratories signed an agreement with the Moderna biotechnology company to carry out the finishing of the vaccines against the coronavirus, there has always been a rumor that Granada would be the protagonist of this process. But that was going to be done and is being done in Madrid. In fact, in January the first doses were released to the world. However, the puzzle has been completed, and last week the agreement was formalized for the pharmaceutical company to manufacture the active principle of the vaccine in Granada, the first stage of the production chain and which puts the province and Andalusia "in the right place. world map of the fight against Covid ", as stated by the Chairman of the Board, Juanma Moreno. Beside him, in the presentation of the agreement, was the vice president of Rovi, Javier López-Belmonte, present at the establishment of his company in Granada when the PTS was still a sea of orchards in La Vega.
–Rovi is going to manufacture in Granada the active principle of Moderna's vaccine against coronavirus. What does it consist of?
- What we are announcing is that we are going to manufacture the vaccine via technology, the part that has this activity. It consists of messenger RNA technology, and we are going to bring it to Granada and participate in that phase of production. There are two major phases in the manufacture of a pharmaceutical product. One that, if it were a traditional product, would be more chemical, so to speak, and then there is the pharmaceutical phase. Going back from the finished product, the product we see on TV is the multidose vial. We are doing that in Madrid. There, following the agreement signed last summer, we are doing all the manufacturing for those vials outside the United States. Formulating, septic filling, inspection, labeling and packaging done. Modern is the one who is in charge of sending it to the countries. In Granada, what we are going to manufacture is the previous phase, that is, in this case the biotechnological part where the messenger RNA is, and we are going to participate in that production. To put it into perspective, Granada is the product that could go to Madrid to manufacture the multidose vial.
- Why is it said that these messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines are the future?
–First, for a very simple fact: all the problems that vaccines are having are those that are not of this technology, but those of adenovirus. We are seeing that they are less effective, that they protect less against the disease, and we are seeing the complexity of the side effects they are having, which in some cases are being serious but unlikely, and that the authorities are having to stop and review them . In the case of the United States, it has failed to approve AstraZeneca's. This technology is new. Covid-19 vaccines are the first pharmaceutical product to be developed with these technologies, and they are being shown to be much more effective, ranging from 94% prevention to 100% severe cases, which is incredible, and they also don't have as many serious side effect problems. That someone has a fever the next day is not a problem, it is when the adverse effect is dangerous such as blood clots. This technology allows a capacity for adaptability and to develop new vaccines against mutations much faster than the others.
–What does it mean for Granada and Andalusia that Rovi manufactures the active principle of this vaccine here?
–From a social point of view, to think that Granada is helping to alleviate this tremendous health crisis fills us with pride and responsibility. From an economic point of view, it will mean bringing a new technology that is available in very few places in the world. There is a direct consequence of investments, of economic activity, through infrastructures and reforms that we are carrying out, which in the short term means significant circulation of money and employment for the region. It is very good for the city and Andalusia.
- The investment to bring this technology, how much has it amounted to?
- We still cannot quantify it. Rovi has previously invested to have the facilities available, and this makes the second derivative, which is to have strengthened the alliance with Moderna to be able to start it up in the following quarter. It is the most exciting part of the project: that in about five months doses may already be leaving the Granada facilities, which is record time, and also a capacity of one hundred million doses per year. We are talking about a capacity greater than the whole of Spain, France or Morocco. Now in a pandemic we need many doses and these are not enough, but in the future it is very relevant to be able to have this capacity in Spain.
–It is even supposed that they will have to put a reminder dose later.
-No one knows yet. We do not know if it will be necessary to give a booster dose or it will be a recurrent vaccine. Everything suggests that in the next few years we will have to get vaccinated, but I think it is still early, there is not even information on how long antibodies and immunity last. But fortunately we can think that there will be vaccination for the next few years.
- Would the production of vaccines in Granada also start in five months or earlier?
–Now there is a process of construction of infrastructures and equipment for this manufacture. That is first. Then you have to put the equipment into operation, and then qualify and validate before producing in routine. The beauty of this is that, regardless of whether there is a pandemic or not, a series of requirements must be met to ensure that the quality of the product is one hundred percent safe and effective, which is why it takes time.
- Where are they going to be manufactured? In the current headquarters in the Health Technology Park or in the new building that is being built in Escúzar?
–As the key is to have the vaccines as soon as possible for the current pandemic situation, the infrastructure that is in the Health Technology Park will be used.
–And when is the construction of the new plant scheduled to be completed?
–The one in Escúzar is for the manufacture of low molecular weight heparins. We are in the process of construction and the idea is that next year we will start with the qualification and validation batches. It is a process that is going well, but it is not ready yet, we hope to have it underway by the end of the year.
-How much employment can you generate with the manufacture of vaccines against Covid?
–As we have a perspective of working at full speed to be able to combat the pandemic, we count that it can be between 75 and 100 people. The current staff is practically the same, so it would mean doubling the Granada plant.
–And what professional profiles will be sought? When is the personnel selection process scheduled to begin?
–Technicians, qualified, graduates, whether biological, laboratory technicians, of all that kind. I understand that it will start shortly. If in five months we have to be manufacturing everything, logically a month or two we will have to have everyone ready. It is a beautiful process to hire people, to increase economic activity to combat this crisis.
- How has a pharmaceutical laboratory like Rovi lived this year and a month of global pandemic?
–It has been hard for all of us. Personally, we have had to live at home, and on a professional level it has been a tremendous exercise of responsibility. We are dedicated to producing pharmaceutical products, which are also essential, regardless of Covid. Or even the heparins that are manufactured in Granada and that is an essential medicine that is used to fight the coronavirus. And despite having difficult times, here the pride is in how well the people at Rovi behave, in their employees, in continuing to work non-stop at all times, and they have responded in a fantastic way. From the company we have also tried to support and provide all the necessary means of security and protection, and human, because sometimes it takes a lot of love to be able to continue working, and it has been. On the other hand, satisfied to be able to work with vaccines against Covid since last summer. Our role is important because we manufacture for the whole world, except for the United States, so the impact is global.
- You said last week that Granada is the "jewel in the crown of Rovi". Is it special that this vaccine is made here now?
–We say it not because we are fond of it, of course, but it is because we manufacture the active ingredients of our main product, which we sell in more than 70 countries, and which accounts for 50% of Rovi's sales. That is why it is the jewel in the crown. On the other hand, it is a plant of very high technological value, made from scratch by us, with very high automation. Thanks to what the plant is today, Moderna has trusted in leading the production of its vaccine.
- Does it bother you that the 'anti-vaccines' have so much voice?
-Rather than bother me, I think it would be a worrying issue if they had a lot of voice. In the end, fortunately, we have to keep the vaccination data, and in them we see that society, in Spain and outside of it, is not anti-vaccination. Everyone wants to get vaccinated and we know that people are looking forward to their turn. I would be worried if people did not want to be vaccinated, but it is not the reality, it is more the noise of certain people who, perhaps, because of the crazy things they say are paid too much attention, but the silent majority are fervent followers of vaccines.