The country, through the EU, will have access to vaccines from different laboratories. And it will have an initial endowment of 20 million doses to apply in January.
Will be free and it would arrive with Santa Claus or with the Kings. It is what the Spanish are hearing about the long-awaited vaccine against the coronavirus.
Because as soon as the pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced on Monday that its vaccine against Covid-19 was 90 percent effective in its phase III trials, the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, confirmed that Spain will have 20 million doses of the vaccine, which is designed to be given in two applications with an interval of 28 days between one and the other.
“It could immunize some 10 million peopleIlla said.
The figure, however, represents only the 21.2 percent of the population Spanish. An amount still not enough to promote the group immunity – which means the presence of antibodies in more than 60 percent of the population – with which virologists flirt since the beginning of the pandemic.
The Spanish Minister of Health clarified that the vaccine will be distributed through the National system of health and that the first to receive it will be the most vulnerable groups, the elderly or those with pathologies, and the people who are in contact with these groups, that is, health personnel.
The European Union and Spain, being part of it, agreed with several pharmaceutical companies buy it and the supply of their vaccines, if they pass the controls of the European Medicines Agency that guarantee they are safe and effective.
“I am very happy to announce the agreement reached with BioNTech and Pfizer to buy 300 million doses of the vaccine,” the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced on her social networks.
The 27 countries that make up the Union will be able to purchase 200 million doses with the possibility of adding another 100 million, if necessary.
“The vaccines are going to be distributed equitably within the European Union and in proportion to the population ”, said the Spanish Minister of Health.
The agreements signed include the purchase of 300 million doses from AstraZeneca, 300 million from Sanofi and 200 million from Johnson & Johnson.
But Spain will not be able to design its own Covid vaccination strategy: the European Union agreed, in mid-June, a joint action among all its member countries. It is the “European strategy to accelerate the development, manufacture and deployment of vaccines against Covid-19”.
Another aspect to take into account is that, in Spain, vaccination is voluntary Although, in extraordinary situations such as a pandemic, the PSOE-Podemos coalition government could resort to a 1986 law to make vaccination against the coronavirus mandatory.
According to the latest survey conducted by the Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas (CIS), the equivalent of our Indec, the 43.8 percent of the Spanish would not be willing to get vaccinated immediately when the coronavirus vaccine is available.
“The public will respond in correct and favorable terms to a Covid-19 vaccination campaign,” said Minister Illa convinced in an interview he gave to public television.
“This year we are registering increases in flu vaccination of 30, 40 percent compared to vaccination in previous years,” he said. I do not think it is necessary to make the vaccine mandatory. It is a scenario that we should not rule out but I honestly do not think it is necessary. I think the public understands that the way to end a pandemic is vaccination. “
To be safe and effective, Pfizer’s vaccine needs to stay at minus 80 degrees. There are those who doubt whether Spain has the means to maintain such a cold chain. “The places where the vaccine is to be dispensed need deep freezers, which are worth between seven and ten thousand euros,” said Juan Antonio Pineda, spokesman for the Spanish Society for Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology.