Elderly and nursing home professionals first to be vaccinated in January

Illa explains the coronavirus vaccination plan, which will have three stages throughout 2021

OT SERRA / MARIONA FERRER I FORNELLS

Vaccine projects are proliferating and the state is preparing to receive them next year. The Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, appeared at the press conference following the Council of Ministers to explain the coronavirus vaccination plan, which is flexible depending on what the European Union ends up authorising and the number of doses that reach Spain. The initial plan is for there to be three stages throughout 2021: a first stage between January and March, which must be used to vaccinate the highest priority groups, which are the elderly in residential homes and social health centres and the professionals who work there. The following will be the rest of the health care and non-institutionalised dependent persons. "The most vulnerable always first", said Illa.

The ministry hopes that Europe will authorise the vaccine. The Spanish government estimates that the EU would obtain 140 billion doses, which would allow for 800 million immunisations. Spain is expected to receive 10% of those. Illa believes 2 million people will be vaccinated during the first phase, which begins in June. The idea is that from March to June a "progressive increase" of vaccinations can be made to other priority groups and, in a third phase during the second semester of 2021, that it can be extended according to the availability of doses.

Illa has reported that in recent weeks the vaccination strategy has been addressed with the collaboration of eight autonomous communities, scientific societies, the bioethics committee, sociologists and mathematicians, among other disciplines. The plan's objectives are to reduce contagion and mortality as much as possible by controlling mobility, and to be prepared for when vaccinations begin. Once the logistics are in place, the plan should be ready. Thus, 18 population groups have been established based on four criteria: mortality risk, exposure to the disease, socio-economic impact and exposure to transmission. In addition, a specific monitoring and surveillance programme will be created for the vaccination of covid-19 and work will be done on communication initiatives to the public.

The spokesperson and Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, also appeared at the press conference on Tuesday, shortly after the PNV announced their endorsement of the state budget and the debate on amendments in committee began in Congress. The third member of the Spanish government to appear on Tuesday will be the Minister of Justice, Juan Carlos Campo, to explain the new law on criminal prosecution.

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