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COVID-19 VACCINES

Spain surpasses the UK and the US in percentage of population vaccinated against Covid-19

Spain has now fully vaccinated a higher percentage of its population than the United States and the United Kingdom.

Spain surpasses the UK and the US in percentage of population vaccinated against Covid-19
Spain fully vaccinates a higher percentage of its population than US or UK. Photo: LLUIS GENE / AFP

54.3 percent of the Spanish population had already received the complete vaccination schedule against Covid-19 on Saturday. 

This means that Spain now ranks ahead of the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada in terms of percentage of the population fully vaccinated.

This data, revealed by Our World in Data, was highlighted on Saturday by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on his official Twitter account. “Our World in Data once again reflects the impressive rate of vaccination at which our country is advancing,” Sánchez wrote. “Thanks to all the people who make this great success possible on a daily basis. We continue!”.

This percentage is already above that of the United Kingdom, which stands at 54.1 percent; and that of the United States, which has reached 48.6 percent.

Spain has also surpassed other EU countries in terms of percentage of the population fully vaccinated, including Germany, France and Italy, and is above the EU average.

54.3 percent equates to 25,398,978 people, 338,020 more since the previous data was released from the Spanish Ministry of Health. In addition, 64.3 percent of the population has received at least one dose of vaccine against Covid-19.

Despite this, Spain is still far behind countries with the most advanced vaccination programs, which includes Malta with 82.6 of its population vaccinated; Iceland, with 74.3 percent of its population vaccinated; and Israel, with 61.1 percent of its population vaccinated.

By regions, those that have fully vaccinated the highest percentage of their populations include Asturias at 64.7 percent, Galicia at 60.7 percent, and Castilla y León at 59.8 percent.

READ ALSO: ‘There will be a third Covid vaccine for people in Spain’: Health Minister

Member comments

  1. You are saying Spain has fully vaccinated more of its population 54%. The BBC quotes the gov figures of 70.4% fully vaccinated in the UK. There is something wrong somewhere. Can you explain?

  2. I don’t think anybody in the UK believe anythng the government is putting out at the moment. What they want is to stop Brits going abroad so they can keep the money in UK therefore the debt gets brought down quicker through the taxes hoteliers and property owners pay when letting their homes. It’s obvious when they put the Falklands on the green list what they’re up to. Only money people can afford some of the places on the green list so therefore they keep the working class at home. My opinion and others.

  3. The BBC in UK are in a mess. DON’T believe anything they broadcast. The new name is British Bu…..it corporation because of what they do and say.
    They even put out a programme on Princess Diana which was made by fraudulent papers and the BBC knew all about it.

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COVID-19

Spain rules out EU’s advice on compulsory Covid-19 vaccination 

Spain’s Health Ministry said Thursday there will be no mandatory vaccination in the country following the European Commission’s advice to Member States to “think about it” and Germany’s announcement that it will make vaccines compulsory in February.

Spain rules out EU's advice on compulsory Covid-19 vaccination 
A Spanish man being vaccinated poses with a custom-made T-shirt showing Spain's chief epidimiologist Fernando Simón striking a 'Dirty Harry/Clint Eastwood' pose over the words "What part of keep a two-metre distance don't you understand?' Photo: José Jordan

Spain’s Health Minister Carolina Darias on Thursday told journalists Covid-19 vaccines will continue to be voluntary in Spain given the “very high awareness of the population” with regard to the benefits of vaccination.

This follows the words of European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday, urging Member States to “think about mandatory vaccination” as more cases of the Omicron variant are detected across Europe. 

READ ALSO: Is Spain proving facts rather than force can convince the unvaccinated?

“I can understand that countries with low vaccine coverage are contemplating this and that Von der Leyen is considering opening up a debate, but in our country the situation is absolutely different,” Darias said at the press conference following her meeting with Spain’s Interterritorial Health Council.

According to the national health minister,  this was also “the general belief” of regional health leaders of each of Spain’s 17 autonomous communities she had just been in discussion with over Christmas Covid measures. 

READ MORE: Spain rules out new restrictions against Omicron variant

Almost 80 percent of Spain’s total population is fully vaccinated against Covid-19, a figure which is around 10 percent higher if looking at those who are eligible for the vaccine (over 12s). 

It has the highest vaccination rate among Europe’s most populous countries.

Germany announced tough new restrictions on Thursday in a bid to contain its fourth wave of Covid-19 aimed largely at the country’s unvaccinated people, with outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel speaking in favour of compulsory vaccinations, which the German parliament is due to vote on soon.

Austria has also already said it will make Covid-19 vaccines compulsory next February, Belgium is also considering it and Greece on Tuesday said it will make vaccination obligatory for those over 60.

But for Spain, strict Covid-19 vaccination rules have never been on the table, having said from the start that getting the Covid-19 jabs was voluntary. 

There’s also a huge legal implication to imposing such a rule which Spanish courts are unlikely to look on favourably. 

Stricter Covid restrictions and the country’s two states of alarm, the first resulting in a full national lockdown from March to May 2020, have both been deemed unconstitutional by Spain’s Constitutional Court. 

READ ALSO: Could Spain lock down its unvaccinated or make Covid vaccines compulsory?

The Covid-19 health pass to access indoor public spaces was also until recently consistently rejected by regional high courts for breaching fundamental rights, although judges have changed their stance favouring this Covid certificate over old Covid-19 restrictions that affect the whole population.

MAP: Which regions in Spain now require a Covid health pass for daily affairs?

“In Spain what we have to do is to continue vaccinating as we have done until now” Darias added. 

“Spaniards understand that vaccines are not only a right, they are an obligation because we protect others with them”.

What Spanish health authorities are still considering is whether to vaccinate their 5 to 11 year olds after the go-ahead from the European Medicines Agency, with regions such as Madrid claiming they will start vaccinating their young children in December despite there being no official confirmation from Spain’s Vaccine Committee yet.

READ MORE: Will Spain soon vaccinate its children under 12?

Spain’s infection rate continues to rise day by day, jumping 17 points up to 234 cases per 100,000 people on Thursday. There are now also five confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in the country, one through community transmission.

Hospital bed occupancy with Covid patients has also risen slightly nationwide to 3.3 percent, as has ICU Covid occupancy which now stands at 8.4 percent, but the Spanish government insists these figures are “almost three times lower” than during previous waves of the coronavirus pandemic.

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