SPAIN’S Prime Minister warns autonomous communities against buying vaccines alone
As Spain’s vaccine rollout plan kicks into a new gear with the arrival of millions of jabs expected from April onwards, the prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, has asked autonomous communities to trust the vaccine schedule and not take matters into their own hands. His comments come after the European Commission issued a stern warning to Madrid when it emerged that authorities had been in talks with Russia about purchasing the Sputnik V jab.
During an interview on Cadena Ser, spokesperson for the European Commission, Eric Mamer, conceded that “we cannot prohibit anyone buying other vaccines apart from those that are included in the collective shopping basket” but he added that those who do “must assume responsibilities.”
Speaking at an economic forum to discuss the distribution of the EU bailout fund on Monday, April 12, Mr Sanchez reminded regional leaders that last week, half a million vaccines were administered per day thanks to “conscientious planning” between the Ministry of Health and the autonomous communities, while the rollout plan looks set to break “record after record” in April.
Without specifically mentioning Madrid, the Prime Minister said that Spain must continue to centrally purchase vaccines only and asked again for unity during the vaccination process.
“Where does a lander (a name for the federal states of Germany) or autonomy go along competing with countries of billions of people when it comes to accessing a vaccine?” he asked.
Mr Sanchez pointed out that the latest forecasts suggest that on week beginning April 12, the number of people vaccinated against Covid will exceed that of those infected with the virus. According to his schedule, which he believes is “prudent and studied”, by May 3, some 5 million people will be vaccinated against coronavirus, a figure that will increase to 10 million in the first week of June. If things continue as planned, at the end of August, 33 million people – or 70 per cent of the population – will be vaccinated against Covid.