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Spain divides population into groups to prioritize for Covid-19 vaccine

The Local Spain
The Local Spain - [email protected]
Spain divides population into groups to prioritize for Covid-19 vaccine
Photo: AFP

Spain’s Health Ministry has divided the population into 15 groups to determine the order in which vaccinations will be given under a plan unveiled on Friday.

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The three stage immunization plan will begin in January with those most vulnerable and on the front line and each phase will last three months, said Salvador Illa, Spain’s Health Minister.

The first phase between January and March will cover approximately 2.5 million people and includes health professionals, those living in residential care homes, and the people that care for them.

The second phase will roll out between April and June and the final phase will continue over the summer months with a view to Spain’s entire population being covered by September.

“The groups cover the entire Spanish population. On this basis, it will be decided who will have priority in stage 2 and 3. It will be a flexible decision, which will be made by the technicians when we have more data on vaccines and their availability. The strategy is going to be updated ”, Illa explained.

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In a press release on Friday, Illa announced the 15 groups in this order, clarifying that this did not necessarily mean that this was the order of priority: 

  •  Health professionals (1st phase)
  • Care home users (1st phase)
  •  Over-64s
  •  Largely dependent people living at home (1st phase)
  •  People at risk of Covid-19
  •  Those working or living in closed places
  •  Vulnerable groups for socioeconomic reasons
  •  Those employed in essential services
  •  Education staff
  • Children
  • Young people (over 16)
  • Adults
  • People living in places affected by outbreaks
  • Pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers
  • Those already immune

The Health Minister reiterated that vaccinations will be voluntary.

The speed of the immunization programme will depend on when exactly the vaccines become available and in what quantity but Spain has already negotiated contracts with six pharmaceutical companies to supply 140 million doses -  it is currently thought that most vaccines will require a double dose to be effective – so there should be more than enough to cover Spain’s 44 million population.

READ MORE: When will the new Covid-19 vaccines be available in Spain?

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