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Spain’s Health Ministry divides the population into 15 groups for vaccination

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The Spanish Health Ministry has released a list to summarise how it has divided the entire Spanish population into 15 groups in order to administer vaccinations against Coronavirus (Covid-19) during 2021. The details were announced by Health Minister Salvador Illa during a press briefing on Friday.

Spain’s overall Vaccination Strategy is to be divided into three phases, during the period January to September 2021. Other than the groups to be vaccinated during the first phase, however, and which were first announced on Tuesday, the order for vaccinating the other groups of the population has not yet been disclosed. Vaccination will also be voluntary.

The groups of people in the first phase who will receive the vaccination during January to March 2021 – and which are estimated to be 2.5 million people – are:

Phase two of the vaccination plan is scheduled from April to June 2021, with phase three planned for July to September. The Health Ministry has not yet decided the order of the groups to be vaccinated during the second and third phases, but will include the following:

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

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez visiting the Hospital Universitario La Paz in Madrid on 27 November 2020. (Pool Moncloa / Fernando Calvo)

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.’

Illa said this week 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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