Spain plans to vaccinate 2.5m by March with care homes given top priority
Health workers and disabled people also among first to get doses; vaccine will not be obligatory
Spain plans to administer the first batch of vaccines against Covid-19 to 2.5 million of its residents from January to March 2021.
This is according to health minister Salvador Illa, who presented the vaccination plan on Tuesday after it was approved at a cabinet meeting.
The scheme gives maximum priority to care home users and their health workers – including centers for both elderly people and disabled people.
These two groups will be followed by health professionals in general and people with serious disabilities.
All these groups are planned to be vaccinated by March in the first phase of the scheme.
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.
On Sunday, Spain's president Pedro Sánchez announced that 13,000 points will be used as administration points, the same ones already used for other vaccinations, as explained by Illa.
Doses in Catalonia
On Monday, Catalonia's public health secretary, Josep Maria Argimon, estimated that 175,000 people in Catalonia will be vaccinated from late January.
He expects that Catalonia will be given a number of doses in line with its proportion of the overall population of Spain.
Since Catalonia accounts for approximately 16% of Spain's inhabitants, the number of people vaccinated by March could be 400,000.