The current vaccination campaign against swine flu in Spain will see around nine million people receive the vaccine, but this means that some 26 million doses will be left over (article in Castilian, El Periodico). In the summer, the Spanish Health Ministry and the autonomous communities put in an order for 37 million vaccine doses, but once the decision had been taken about which high-risk groups should be vaccinated, only about a quarter of these will get used. As a result, health authorities are now considering whether to offer the vaccination to other groups. These could include the families and carers of transplant patients, sufferers of immunodeficiency and those affected by serious ailments. However, as this group in itself would only represent several thousand people, a proposal is also being considered about offering it to members of the public who want to receive the vaccine “due to personal conviction”. The vaccines will have to be used quickly or got rid of; flu viruses mutate constantly and so the vaccines from this year will not be usable next winter.
A new law of food safety and nutrition would ban fast food establishments in Spain from giving away presents with their products as a way to promote their consumption amongst children (article in Castilian, El Periodico). Other initiatives in the proposed legislation would mean that celebrities weren't allowed to endorse unhealthy food for children in advertising and schools wouldn’t be able to have dispensing-machines that sell products with high levels of fat and sugar. The planned text of the law has now been passed to representatives of the sector and those that would be affected by its implementation; it is due to come before the Spanish congress in the first quarter of next year, according to the Spanish Agency of Food Safety, which has been working on the legislation for the past two years.
Representatives from the town of Reus and the city of Tarragona have expressed alarm over recent changes in the strategy of low-cost airline Ryanair (article in Catalan, Avui). While the company has been responsible for a change in fortunes for the regional airport in Reus that serves southern Catalunya, anxiety has arisen as a result of Ryanair significantly cutting the number of flights that it operates to and from Reus for the winter season and the recent announcement that the Irish airline hopes to start offering services from Barcelona airport next spring. In September, Ryanair removed 13 of the 23 flights it operates from Reus for the months of winter; this was more than had been expected, but the company gave assurances that it was a temporary measure and that 12 of the routes would recommence in March 2010. However, the cut in flights means that Ryanair is offering less than the minimum number of winter flights than had previously been agreed. A meeting was held yesterday between the Diputació of Tarragona, local chambers of commerce, Reus mayor and the Generalitat, amongst others, to discuss the issue.
Also in the news: Families meet up with released fishing-boat crew in the Seychelles (La Vanguardia); Photovoltaic industry complains that Catalan government not doing enough to promote solar energy (La Vanguardia); Council blames new intake of Guàrdia Urbana agents for fines against car-owners displaying CAT sticker (Avui)