How to make sure you’re included in the vaccine rollout plan

Residents of Catalonia must ensure they register with the public health system to ensure they receive the inoculation

A medical professional prepares a syringe with a Covid-19 vaccine (by Roger Segura)
A medical professional prepares a syringe with a Covid-19 vaccine (by Roger Segura) / Cillian Shields

Cillian Shields | Barcelona

February 26, 2021 12:24 PM

The vaccination rollout plan began in Catalonia on December 27, 2020, with care home residents being the first priority group to receive the jab. 

That got the ball rolling on a scheme that prioritizes care home residents and workers, healthcare staff, and people with severe disabilities living at home. 

With two doses of the various vaccines, trials have shown that immunity can be achieved with up to 95% efficiency rates, and the second round of doses of vaccinations have already begun for some Catalan citizens.

Authorities aim to administer vaccines to 70% of the population by the end of 2021, which, according to them, would ensure group immunity. Additionally, the health department targets 40% of all Catalan residents to receive the jab by June. 

If you live in Catalonia, here’s how you can ensure you will be taken into account for the vaccination rollout plan.

Register on the Catalan public health system 

As the vaccination plan is being carried out by the public health body, you must be registered in the public health system, CatSalut.

Catalan News asked public health secretary-general Josep Maria Argimon what requirements are needed to receive the vaccine in a press conference on February 23, and he responded that “the only requirement is having the public health card,” which comes with being registered on the health system. 

He also explained that in order to receive the health card, one must acquire the “empadronament” - registration with the local council of one’s municipality indicating that they are living in the area. 

However, irregular migrants in Catalonia are also entitled to healthcare, and as such are also entitled to receive the vaccine, and the health official outlined that there are “non-governmental organizations” that can help irregular migrants receive their ‘empadronament’. 

To find full details about how the Catalan healthcare system works and how to get a CatSalut card, click here. It is entirely free and is a simple and speedy process. 

Priority groups

Catalan News also asked Argimon about priority groups, such as older people or people especially at-risk of Covid-19 for medical reasons. 

Many people not from Catalonia but who are living here may not be registered on the public health system and only access medical services privately, as such, the health system will not have their medical history on record and will not be able to classify them appropriately in the vaccine rollout plan. 

Argimon recommended that these people consult their doctors and get in touch with public health system officials once their group is called to receive the inoculation. 

In any case, the public health secretary-general assured that everybody in Catalonia is entitled to receive the vaccine, regardless of migration status, and also including homeless people.

Public health sub-director Dr Carmen Cabezas added to this point that widespread vaccination is essential for the proper functioning of herd immunity, and for all of society to be protected it is important to immunize as many people as possible. 

“If the vaccination isn’t global, it won’t be effective,” Argimon emphasized.