Spain believes 70% of population could be vaccinated by July
Director of health emergencies center says so far rollout is ahead of Spanish president’s estimations from start of April
Spain believes that vaccinating 70% of the population by the end of summer, as pledged by president Pedro Sánchez, is not only possible, but that it might even be achieved by July, one month ahead of schedule.
The director of the health emergencies center, Fernando Simón, has not ruled out having 70% of residents fully vaccinated by the end of July, after the European Commission president, Ursula Von der Leyen, said on Friday that by that time, there will be enough available doses for 7 out of every 10 residents of the EU to be vaccinated.
Simón said in a press conference on Monday that so far Spain is ahead of the timings estimated by Sánchez on April 6.
The pace of the rollout is increasing across the EU – this is also the case for Catalonia, where 22% of residents have already received the first dose and over 8% have had both. Indeed, on Monday the biggest mass vaccination site yet, located at a Barcelona exhibition center, opened its doors for a pilot run.
In a press conference held on April 6, Sánchez pledged to reach some set landmarks including having 5 million Spaniards fully vaccinated by the week starting with May 3, 10 million by the first week of June, 15 million by the week beginning with June 14, 25 million by the week starting with July 19, and 33 million residents by the end of August.
As of April 26, less than two weeks before the next deadline, 3.94 million inhabitants have received both doses – in Catalonia, this figure is at 635,000.
The first target was set for the week starting with April 12, which was to have more people fully vaccinated in Spain than the total number of cases the country has seen since the pandemic began. The goal was achieved on April 20, when 3,452,119 Spaniards had received the vaccine, compared to a sum of 3,435,840 reported Covid-19 transmissions.
AstraZeneca second doses
Meanwhile, Spain has not decided yet about the pending second dose for under 60s who received the first jab of AstraZeneca before authorities decided it was no longer appropriate for people below 60.
Administering a second vaccine using another brand or not vaccinating them anymore are the two main options on the table, awaiting a decision on the matter which might be reached in the weekly coordination meeting between the Spanish health minister and the regional cabinets.
Around 200,000 residents in Catalonia received AstraZeneca as their first dose, and they are due their second one from the end of April, meaning the time left to make a decision is quickly running out.