Latest: Coronavirus in Spain figures (11 Jan)
Spain will start vaccinations against Coronavirus (Covid-19) on 27 December, the Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa said on Friday.
His comments followed an announcement the day before by Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, that all EU member states would be able to start the vaccination process on 27, 28 and 29 December.
‘We do not want to wait a single day, we want the vaccination process to begin as soon as possible,’ said Illa on Friday. ‘If Europe has agreed, as we demanded, to begin inoculating the population between 27-29 December, Spain will start to do so on the first day possible, on the 27th.’
According to the health minister, the first doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine are expected to arrive in Spain on 26 December and will be distributed equitably among all Spanish regions.
‘This is the beginning of the end,’ Illa said. He stressed that this important step ‘gives us hope because it means the beginning of the end of the pandemic.’
The health minister said that: ‘It will be a significant number of doses that reach our country but it will be a progressive and a weekly process. We will receive doses and distribute them among the autonomous communities, which will be the ones that cite the people who have to be vaccinated according to the priority groups established in the Vaccination Strategy.’ Illa also reiterated that ‘there will be a sufficient number of doses for all Spanish citizens.’
In an interview last Sunday, the health minister had said that 70% of Spain’s population would be vaccinated by the end of summer 2021, and that the country would have achieved ‘herd immunity’.
Illa has said that Spain will have 140 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and the country ‘has all the capacities ready so that as soon as the doses arrive, the population can be immunised with all the necessary guarantees’.
Announcing Spain’s Vaccination Strategy at the end of November, it was also confirmed that the government has advance purchase agreements for Covid-19 vaccines with a total of five pharmaceutical companies: AstraZeneca/Oxford, Sanofi-GSK, Johnson & Johnson/Janssen and Curevac, in addition to Pfizer/BioNTech. Negotiations also continue with Moderna and Novavax.
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.
ALSO READ: Spain’s Health Ministry divides the population into 15 groups for vaccination
You can also click here for further details (in English) of the key points of Spain’s Covid-19 Vaccination Strategy.
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