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Spain's health minister guarantees the arrival of 6.8 million Covid vaccines by April

The elderly in Spain will only receive the vaccines that use messenger RNA technology.
The elderly in Spain will only receive the vaccines that use messenger RNA technology. / EFE
  • Carolina Darias also confirmed that those over 80 years of age will not receive the AstraZeneca vaccine

Minister of Health Carolina Darias has told the autonomous regions that Spain already has a firm commitment from Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca that no fewer than 6,797,185 doses will arrive in the country by spring.

Darias explained at a meeting of the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System (CISNS), that the Pfizer / BionTech consortium, after suffering logistic problems in January, has committed to deliver 1,779,570 doses in February and then, in March, to increase the supply to 2,705,040 injectables.

Moderna, for its part, plans to deliver 412,000 ampoules to Spain this month.

And AstraZeneca, after its quarrel with the EU for its non-compliance with delivery deadlines, will finally provide Spain with at least 1,810,575 doses before spring.

Herd immunity target

With this supply, Spain will be able to guarantee a vaccination rate of just over 120,000 daily inoculations during the next two months. But that is still well short of the quarter of a million needed to achieve the September herd immunity target with 70 per cent of the country's population (33 million people) immunised with the two doses.

The Ministry of Health had been expected to announce its likely decision to not to vaccinate those over 65 years of age with the AstraZeneca formula, but it finally postponed this announcement to this Thursday for "technical reasons".

However, Darias confirmed that those over 80 years of age will only receive the vaccines that use messenger RNA technology, which of those approved so far, are the vaccines of Pfizer and Moderna.

Scientific committees in France, Germany, Poland, Austria, Sweden, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands have already advised against using the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford for the elderly saying that there is insufficient data to support its efficacy in older people.