Illa: "By May, a large portion of the population will be vaccinated"

Health Minister "worried" about possible Christmas outbreaks

The Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, assured this Saturday that this May "a big portion of the population will be vaccinated". According to Illa, once a "significant" percentage of the population has been vaccinated in spring, containment measures can be relaxed.

"We will move on to a different stage" of the pandemic, the minister said in an interview with Catalunya Ràdio, about the situation that will arise when the vaccinations are carried out. However, he has stated that "it will not mean that we will completely forget about the pandemic". This Tuesday, the Spanish government will present a vaccination plan so that the health services can start administering doses to citizens as soon as possible, once the vaccine is available.

Spanish government to approve coronavirus vaccination plan on Tuesday

Illa has ruled out making the vaccine mandatory, as experts believe it could be "counterproductive. "Experts will indicate who has to be vaccinated", he said, as well as the timing of vaccination, which will depend on the production of vaccine doses.

As for the upcoming Christmas holidays and the December bank holiday, Illa said he was "worried", since the government predicts an increase in mobility and social contacts. "We have to be very careful", he reminded citizens, since, in his opinion, "it would be wrong" to relax the security measures in view of the proximity of a hypothetical vaccine.  "Distance, hands, mask " and I would also add "ventilation", he stated.

The minister said that the autonomous communities are doing "a very remarkable job" on a health level and recalled that the second wave of contagion is affecting "the entire northern hemisphere", especially Europe and North America.

On the situation of the epidemic in Madrid, the minister added that the data from all the autonomous communities "is reliable" and that, in all territories, the situation is "very unstable". On the decrease in infections in the Spanish capital, despite having implemented less stable restrictions, Illa recalled that it suffered "very significant peaks" of infections before the rest of communities and that it spent "21 days with a very strict confinement" and "very drastic measures" that are now yielding results.

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