‘Very substantial’ part of Spain’s population will be vaccinated by mid-2021, Spanish PM says
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‘Very substantial’ part of Spain’s population will be vaccinated by mid-2021, Spanish PM says

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A “very substantial” part of Spain’s population will have been vaccinated against the new coronavirus by the end of the first half of 2021, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced on Friday.

In a speech in La Rioja province, Sanchez said Spain would be “the first EU country, along with Germany, to have a comprehensive vaccination plan” for its 47 million inhabitants.

This plan will be presented on Tuesday at the next Council of Ministers, he said, adding that his government had been working on its preparation since September.

“Our forecasts are that, in all reasonable scenarios, a very substantial part of the Spanish population will be able to be vaccinated, with all guarantees, in the first half of next year”, he said.

With more than 42,000 deaths and more than 1.5 million cases, according to the balance sheet announced Thursday evening, Spain is one of the European countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Confronted with a strong second wave, the government declared a state of health emergency and a six-month curfew on 25 October.

Restrictions in Spain vary from one region to another, as public health is a regional authority in the country. Overall, however, the measures appear to be beginning to have an effect, with the incidence of the virus declining in most areas.

On Thursday, the regional government of Catalonia (north-east of the country) announced that bars, restaurants, cinemas, theatres and theatres, which have been closed since mid-October, could reopen next Monday, with some restrictions on opening hours and capacity.

“The situation has stabilised,” said Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa on Wednesday. However, he added that “the situation (continues) to be very worrying, because we have high incidence rates.”

In addition to the curfew, many Spanish regions have implemented partial closures, which consist of preventing both entry into and exit from the region, except in very specific cases.

The government of the region of Madrid announced on Friday that the region will be closed from 4 to 14 December, in order to approach the holiday season in the best possible health conditions.

In terms of vaccine research, Spain authorised on Wednesday the launch of the final phase of a clinical trial of a vaccine against Covid-19 developed by Johnson & Johnson. Around 30,000 people from Spain and eight other countries will take part in the clinical trial of the vaccine.

The Brussels Times