Catalonia pledges 900k Covid vaccine doses for first quarter of 2021
Government says 70% of the population to be immunized against coronavirus next year
The Catalan government has pledged more than 900,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses for the first quarter of 2021, as announced by health minister Alba Vergés on Friday.
The vaccination plan will prioritize those most vulnerable to the coronavirus, like people who reside at nursing homes, elders older than 80 years, or healthcare workers. Other population segments will subsequently receive their doses.
Health authorities expect that 70% of Catalonia’s 7.5 million inhabitants will be immunized next year to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease known as Covid-19.
With coronavirus contagion peaking at more than 6,000 new cases per day nearly a month ago, infections have steadily declined. On Friday, 1,555 cases were reported.
Catalan authorities are gradually lifting some of the tougher coronavirus restrictions, such as the closure of bars and restaurants, culture venues, and sports centers. But even when the de-escalation plan is completed after the Christmas season, some measures like the compulsory use of face masks, the night curfew, and limits on social gatherings will remain in place.
Health minister Vergés has set a 70% vaccination rate for the entire population as the threshold at which most measures can be eased.
Spain's vaccination plan
Last Tuesday, Spain unveiled its vaccination plan against Covid-19, expecting to administer 2.5 million doses from January to March.
Prioritizing care home users and their workers, followed by healthcare professionals and people with serious disabilities, all people in these groups are expected to get vaccinated by March 2021.
The second phase will 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 expected to cover the rest of the population, which has been divided into 18 groups for the purposes of delivering the vaccine – although only the first four have been disclosed so far.
Indeed, Illa said that "100% of the population" will have doses available to them by the end of 2021, but added that getting vaccinated will not be obligatory.