Europe, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Spain starts Moderna vaccines amid skyrocketing cases

Deaths remain high, with an additional 201 fatalities reported

Alyssa McMurtry   | 14.01.2021
Spain starts Moderna vaccines amid skyrocketing cases

OVIEDO, Spain

Spain introduced the Moderna vaccine to its arsenal against the coronavirus Thursday as the pandemic continued to spiral out of control across the country.

The Health Ministry reported 35,878 new infections. Technically, it is the highest single-day surge because the number Wednesday, 38,869, contained 5,000 cases not reported during previous days.

Before that, the daily record was set in October with 25,500 infections.

Nearly 250,000 people have tested positive for the virus in the last two weeks and the infection rate has nearly tripled in the last month.

The positivity rate for tests also continues to soar. On Monday, 18% of all tests came back positive compared to 7% one month ago.

Close to 19,000 people are currently hospitalized for the virus. More than 28% of intensive care units are being used and doctors are warning about impending overflows in some regions.

The government has ruled out a full lockdown but most regions have moved to tighten mobility restrictions, curfews and operating hours for bars and restaurants.

Deaths also remain high, with an additional 201 fatalities reported.

Fatalities are expected to surge in the coming weeks as record new infections turn into serious cases of COVID-19. Vaccines, however, could reduce deaths compared to previous waves.

Spain accelerated its vaccination program in recent days after a bumpy start in late December.

Nearly 100,000 more people were vaccinated, bringing the number who have received the first dose to 676,000.

Of those vaccinations, the first 99 from Moderna were injected after the country received its first shipment of 35,700 doses Thursday.

And of the 1.1 million vaccines received in Spain, 60% have gone into arms, mainly nursing home residents and frontline medical workers.

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