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Spain to keep track of who refuses coronavirus vaccine

Madrid, Spain. Credit: Pixabay

Spain intends to keep a register of people who refuse to get a coronavirus vaccine, Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa announced on Monday.

Among other things, the register should allow authorities to identify the possible reasons to refuse a vaccine by population group.

The register will not be public and will comply with data protection rules, according to Illa, though it will be available to European partners.

“It seems to me that at this point we all see that the way to defeat the virus is to vaccinate all of us, or the more the better,” said Illa.

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Spain hopes to have access to 4.6 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine over the next 12 weeks, which would allow it to protect 2.3 million people out of its population of 47 million, and that the majority of that population will be vaccinated by mid-2022.

The country vaccinated its first citizens on Sunday and received a first larger batch of Pfizer – BioNTech vaccines on Tuesday.

It was originally slated to receive those vaccines on Monday, but due to logistical errors at Pfizer’s plant in Puurs, Belgium, Spain was one of eight European countries to receive the vaccines with a slight delay.

Some 28% of the Spanish population said that it did not intend to get vaccinated, according to the results of a survey published on Monday. That number dropped from 47% in November.

Since the start of the pandemic, Spain has counted 1,879,413 confirmed cases, according to the country’s health ministry, and nearly 50,000 people have died from the virus.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times