7 days in healthcare (January 3-9, 2022)



From an international point of view, perhaps the most striking thing is the great global expansion of COVID, particularly of the “omicron” variant, with a record number of infections in the United States, of more than one million a day.

As for national news, official policy continues to trust everything to vaccination, avoiding other measures that may have certain political costs. The problem is the number of deaths, the collapse of the health system (which affects not only COVID cases, but the rest of the patients) and the large number of sick leave. The only measure at the national level is the obligation of the mask outdoors (about whose effectiveness many doubt), without addressing the need to control the aeration of premises based on CO2 meters; the avoidance of crowds; considering the mandatory nature of the vaccine for certain groups (health workers, teachers, etc.); the more agile activation of the third dose; ensuring the existence of antigen tests and regulating their price; the management of sick leaves in another more agile way, in such a way that Primary Care no longer completely collapses; and, ensuring the purchase and accessibility of new drugs against COVID.

Regarding company news, to highlight the record sale of 7 million antigen tests by pharmacies in the week of Christmas; and the great news that the Spanish HIPRA vaccine may be present in the second quarter of year 22.


  • 5 key articles published in JAMA on January 6: 1. A National Strategy for the New Normal of Life with Covid; 2. A National Strategy for COVID-19: Testing, Surveillance and Mitigation Strategies; 3. A National Strategy for COVID-19 Medical Countermeasures: Vaccines and Therapeutics; 4. The First 2 Years of COVID-19: Lessons to Improve Preparedness for the Next Pandemic; 5. The Pandemic Preparedness Program: Reimagining Public Health (JAMA, 6 at 22)
  • Deloitte publishes a document with the six major topics that will be present in health in 2022: 1. Health equity; 2. Corporate Social Responsibility: 3. Mental health and well-being; 4. Digital transformation and impact on delivery models; 4. The future of medical science; 5. Public Health, reimagined (Deloitte, https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/global/Documents/Life-Sciences-Health-Care/gx-health-care-outlook-Final.pdf)
  • The Lancet identifies humanitarian needs by 2022, the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance will rise in 2022 to 274 million, from 235 million in 2021 (The Lancet, Jan 8, 22)
  • Peter Singer, possibly the most famous bioethicist in the world, says that, in the face of a shortage of ICU beds, according to him, vaccinated people would have a preference (Project Syndicate, 5 at 22)
  • The USA reports a record number of infections throughout the pandemic, more than a million a day (FT, 4 in 22)
  • Italy declares COVID vaccination mandatory for those over 50 (The Guardian, 5 at 22)
  • A Chinese city of 1.2 million inhabitants, in confinement, before the appearance of three cases (The Guardian, 4 in 22)
  • Israel announces vaccination with a fourth dose for those over 60 years (Vozpópuli, 2 in 22)
  • The WHO follows the new IHU variant identified in France but states that it is not circulating very actively (El Mundo, 6 in 21)
  • More patients and fewer professionals push New York hospitals to the limit (NYT, 7 at 22)
  • Military deployed to London hospitals, to compensate for the absence of personnel (The Guardian, 7 at 22)
  • The French presidency of the European Union (first semester of 2022), intends to take steps in promoting the “European Health Union”, strengthening the ECDC, EMA and HERA (ConSalud, Jan 9, 22)


  • “Spain, sick, resigned and incredulous”, hard and accurate article by José Antonio Zarzalejos, on the absence of a strategy against COVID-19. He accuses of attempts to trivialize the attitude of the Spanish authorities (both national and regional), trusting everything to vaccination, but not adopting other measures, as in other countries. It has not even debureaucratized sick leave. The government gets out of the way, individualizing the response to the pandemic. (El Confidencial, 8 at 22)
  • The number of cases in Spain reaches record figures throughout the pandemic (2,722 per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days). The numbers of admitted and patients in ICU are somewhat lower than in other waves, but also worrying (Ministry of Health, Update no 537. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). 01.07.2022)
  • Between the need to care for COVID, the administrative role for sick leaves and the personnel’s own dismissals, the «omicron» variant pushes Primary Care to the limit (El País, Jan 3, 22)
  • ICUs are as full as a year ago, with 10 times more incidence (El Español, 6 in 22)
  • More than a million children between 5 and 11 years old already have the first dose of the vaccine (El Confidencial, 4 in 22)
  • Spain is late in the purchase of new anti-COVID drugs, while other European countries already have reservations, but in Spain this was delegated to the autonomous regions (La Razón, 7 at 22)
  • The return to classes will be face-to-face at all stages from January 10, agreement of the Interterritorial Council (Sanitary Act, 4 at 22)
  • Health and communities say that at the school level, entire groups will only quarantine if there are five or more cases (El País, 7 out of 22)
  • Raise to five the positives in a classroom to confine them, something without scientific evidence, says the Spanish Association of Pediatrics (7 in 21)
  • Flurona, first cases of simultaneous influenza and covid infections in Spain (Expansión, 3 in 22)
  • December closes with 240,000 sick leave due to COVID, three times more than in November (CincoDías, 4 in 22)
  • A CIS study shows (?) That 55% of Spaniards are not being greatly affected by the pandemic (Vozpópuli, 3 in 22)
  • Great step back from smoking in Spain, they start smoking again like a decade ago (El Periódico de España, 4 at 22)
  • Almost forty organizations reject the Madrid Omnibus Law, published on December 23 and with a 7-day hearing procedure, between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, modifying 33 laws and 5 decrees in force in the Community of Madrid (Acta Sanitaria, 4 Jan 22)


  • Pharmacies sold a record 7 million antigen tests in the week of Christmas (CincoDías, 4 in 22) and in six months they have sold more than 21 million tests (El Debate, 6 in 22)
  • According to the Minister of Health, antigen tests will only be sold in pharmacies, contrary to what happens in other European countries (Diariofarma, 4 in 22)
  • Private hospitals denounce the Xunta for not compensating for its intervention during the state of alarm (La Voz de Galicia, 4 at 22)
  • HIPRA, the Spanish vaccine, already has a release date in the second quarter of 2022 (La Razón, 4 at 22)
  • The vaccine triggers the value of Novavax, Moderna, BioNTech and Pfizer on the stock market (Expansión, 6 Jan 22)
  • Pfizer and BioNTech will search for a vaccine against herpes zoster (CincoDías, 5 en 22)
  • The German Synlab buys the Valencian company Sistemas Genónicos, belonging to the Ascires group (Expansión, 7 at 22)
  • Rovi, newcomer and favorite among IBEX stocks (CincoDías, 9 at 22)
  • Telefónica has more than 50,000 clients in its telemedicine service (The Objective, 6 in 22)