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Last Trade - 18/05/21

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Market Cap £33.89bn
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UPDATE 1-Madrid may shut down mass vaccination centres unless more shots arrive

Fri 16th April, 2021 5:46pm
(Adds latest COVID-19 figures)
    MADRID, April 16 (Reuters) - A shortage of coronavirus shots
may force the Madrid region to close down mass vaccination
centres next week, the regional public health chief said on
Friday, even as infections in the Spanish capital outpace the
national average. 
    Madrid, whose administration has long been at loggerheads
with the central government on the pandemic response,
administers around 275,000 shots per week, but is due to receive
just 157,900 doses of the Pfizer  PFE.N  and BioNTech  22UAy.DE 
vaccine next week, Antonio Zapatero told reporters.
    "If this situation continues we'll have to close the mass
vaccination centres," he said. "Without vaccines, there is no
point in having such a big operation." 
    A Health Ministry spokeswoman said batches of AstraZeneca
and Moderna vaccines due next week should avoid any such
situation.
    Health officials in the northeastern region of Catalonia,
which is yet to start mass vaccinations at large venues, said
the pace of its inoculation campaign depended on deliveries and
called for a larger number of Astrazeneca shots.
    Like other European cities, Madrid has converted big venues
such as Atletico Madrid's Wanda football stadium into injection
centres to try to speed up the sluggish vaccination campaign.
    But senior Madrid health official Elena Andradas complained
the region had been receiving less than its fair share of doses,
hampering efforts to inoculate vulnerable age groups. The region
has around 130,000 doses in stock, she added.
    Spain has registered nearly 3.4 million cases and 76,981
deaths from COVID-19, according to health ministry data on
Friday.
    Despite delays to the deployment of the one-shot Johnson &
Johnson vaccine over blood-clot concerns, Spain still expects to
have half its 47-million population fully inoculated by late
July.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2M73TC
    Europe's drug regulator said on Wednesday it planned to
issue a recommendation on the vaccine next week, but that it
continued to believe the benefits of the shot outweighed the
risks of side effects.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2M73KT
    Led by maverick conservative Isabel Diaz Ayuso, who is
running for re-election, Madrid has consistently opted for
looser restrictions than the rest of Spain.
    Public health experts have cited Ayuso's insistence on
keeping bars and restaurants open as a factor in the capital's
high 14-day infection rate, which on Friday reached 372 cases
per 100,000 people against the national average of 213.05.

 (Reporting by Nathan Allen, Graham Keeley and Joan Faus;
Editing by Andrei Khalip, Angus MacSwan and Alison Williams)
 ((n.allen@thomsonreuters.com; +34 617 792 131;))
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