Foreigners not eligible for CatSalut cards told to ask primary care centers about getting Covid jab

Health department aims to vaccinate all residents registered in 'padró' census

A vaccination site in Bisbal de l'Empordà (by Anna Pascual)
A vaccination site in Bisbal de l'Empordà (by Anna Pascual) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

June 11, 2021 10:42 AM

Foreign residents who are not eligible for CatSalut public health cards should seek information about obtaining their Covid-19 vaccines at their closest primary care center (CAP).

"As public health providers, our aim is to vaccinate everyone who lives here," public health secretary Carmen Cabezas told Catalan News.

While most people, including undocumented migrants, have access to the public health system, higher-income foreigners who do not have Spanish Social Security numbers do not.

According to Cabezas, however, coronavirus jabs are a "basic" service, which is why residents in this situation who are registered in their local 'padró' census should "go to their nearest primary care center" to find out what can be done for them.

In April, Catalonia set up a system that allowed 'displaced people' to sign up to get vaccinated without a CatSalut card, but decided to close it on May 31 after receiving only 5,700 requests.

The term 'displaced people' as used by the health department referred to people who are not Spanish citizens and are legal residents but do not have a CatSalut card, not to irregular migrants or refugees.

Accessing the public health system

Catalonia's residents have the right to access the public health systemregardless of their residency status

For further details on how the Catalan healthcare system works, click here.

Foreigners must first register with their local council 'padró' by providing proof of residence (with a housing contract, a letter from someone on the contract or a utility bill, for example) and then apply for a CatSalut health card at their local Primary Healthcare Center (CAP). There is also an online application form. 

Lower-income foreign residents who are not registered in the Spanish social security system usually must apply for public coverage here, but as a result of the Covid-19 crisis can now also fill out an online form here.

Everyone will be provided with essential medical care in the event of an emergency, but those who are not yet registered may incur additional costs.

Over 5 million doses

Since the inoculation campaign against Covid-19 began at the end of December 2020, Catalonia has administered over five million Covid-19 vaccines.

In total, 5,057,762 jabs have been administered to Catalan residents. Exactly 25% of the population is now fully immunized, while 41.1% have had at least one dose.