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Spain’s ‘Covid-19 Vaccination Strategy’ – all the key points

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Spain’s Health Minister Salvador Illa announced details of the government’s ‘Covid-19 Vaccination Strategy’ on Tuesday, after its approval at Monday’s cabinet meeting. It also follows on from remarks made by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on Sunday, that 13,000 locations across Spain would be used for Coronavirus vaccinations.

The Health Ministry is acquiring Covid-19 vaccines for Spain within the framework of the European Commission’s overall strategy. The official body that actually makes decisions about the purchase and distribution of vaccines in Spain is the ‘Agency for Medicines and Healthcare Products (AEMPS)’.

Advance purchase agreements for Covid-19 vaccines to be administered in Spain have already been signed with five pharmaceutical companies: AstraZeneca/Oxford, Sanofi-GSK, Johnson & Johnson/Janssen, Pfizer/BioNTech and Curevac. Negotiations also continue with Moderna and Novavax. The strategy document states that ‘this is a broad portfolio of vaccines that will ensure that, if the authorisation is granted, Europe and Spain will gradually have the necessary doses, at the same time, and for the entire population, so as to face this unprecedented situation.’

Health Minister Salvador Illa
Health Minister Salvador Illa presenting Spain’s ‘Covid-19 Vaccination Strategy’ on 24 November 2020. (Pool Moncloa / Borja Puig de la Bellacasa)

Spain initially plans to vaccinate 2.5 million citizens against Coronavirus from January to March 2021, with the government having established 18 groups of the population, with care home residents and their health professionals to be given top priority.

The Covid-19 vaccination strategy presented on Tuesday specifies that ‘due to the forthcoming gradual availability of vaccine doses, it is necessary to establish the order of priority of the population groups to be vaccinated based on an ethical framework where the principles of equality and dignity of rights, necessity, equity prevail’.

The plan therefore gives maximum priority to care home users and their health workers, to include centres for both elderly people and those who are disabled. These two groups will then be followed by health professionals in general. All these groups of people are planned to be vaccinated by March in the first phase of the government’s scheme.

The second phase of vaccinations aims to cover other critical groups through to June, as the number of doses available as part of the EU joint purchase scheme is expected to ‘increase progressively’.

The third phase is then expected to cover the rest of the Spanish population. Overall, there are 18 groups for the purposes of delivering the vaccine – although only the first groups detailed above have been disclosed so far.

Spanish government's cabinet meeting
An image of the Spanish government’s cabinet meeting to approve the vaccination strategy on 23 November 2020. (Pool Moncloa / Borja Puig de la Bellacasa)

Salvador Illa said that ‘100% of the population’ will have vaccination doses available to them by the end of 2021, but added that it would not be made obligatory. The strategy, he explained, has been worked on since mid-September, and is based on documents and recommendations from international organisations such as the European Commission, the World Health Organisation and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). It is also ‘a single common vaccination strategy for the entire country’. Health authorities from eight regions of Spain (Andalusia, the Canary Islands, Catalonia, the Valencia region, Galicia, Madrid, Murcia and the Basque Country) have also participated in the technical group that has designed the strategy.

‘The effort that the world’s scientific community is making to achieve a safe and effective vaccine is unparalleled by any other before,’ the strategy document states. ‘Citizens should be aware that the vaccines that will eventually be used in the EU against Covid-19 will have the same levels of safety as any of those commonly used.’

You can also click here for further details (in English) of the key points of Spain’s Covid-19 Vaccination Strategy.

Click here for all previous reports on: Coronavirus in Spain

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William DeGarcia 22nd February 2021 at 2:40 pm

Based on the information provided; as a foreigner living permanently in Polop; I am able to be vaccinated regardless of private insurance (DKV). My question is; How and where do I register in order to be notified for an appointment to be vaccinated?

Thank You. I would greatly appreciate a response. There are several residents in the Community of Don Benito, Polop wondering how to be notified of the availability of vaccines.

Spain in English 22nd February 2021 at 3:18 pm

Hi William – from what we understand, you do not need to specifically register to be notified for a vaccination appointment. If you are a foreign national, legally resident in Spain, then you should already be on the ‘system’ in order to receive notification. Depending on your age, being notified could take weeks or months from now. At the moment, many regions in Spain have only just started to vaccinate the over 90 and over 80 age groups, as per our report here: https://www.spainenglish.com/2021/02/17/spain-astrazeneca-vaccine-45-55-year-olds-phase/. If you require further information, we suggest you contact your local health authorities and to double-check that you are on their records. We hope this helps.

Vaughan 26th May 2021 at 7:41 am

I am British living in Marbella with my family and we have a private medical health plan, thus not registered with the health care system in Andalucia. As from January, and being 66 years of age, I had been trying to find out how to be vaccinated for Covid-19. Fortunately this information was printed in one of the local papers in early April, and on the 12th April I was finally registered at one of the local health centres. However, sadly I am still waiting for my much anticipated call to be vaccinated. With the under 59 starting to be vaccinated next week, I sincerely hope I don’t get forgotten.


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