Spain pushes to vaccinate all nursing home residents within a week
All nursing home residents in Spain are expected to be vaccinated against Covid-19 this week, Health Minister Salvador Illa announced on Tuesday after the government’s weekly cabinet meeting.
The country launched its mass vaccination program shortly after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 jab in December.
As of Monday, Spain has successfully inoculated 406,000 with the first dose of the two-part vaccine, and health officials are expected to begin the second round of doses from January 18 for patients who fall into the most vulnerable and elderly group.
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The minister’s comments came in the wake of Spain being struck by exceptionally heavy snowfall during Storm Filomena, causing serious transport disruptions. However, Illa made clear that vaccinations will continue in spite of weather-related complications.
Spain has taken a strict approach to distributing the vaccine, with Illa announcing that the country will be setting up a register of people who refuse to get inoculated and sharing it with other EU states. The government was swift to state, however, that the vaccination will not be mandatory.
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The country is currently battling its third wave of the virus. Covid-19 infections have surged past two million, with over 52,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
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