Spain considers possibility of vaccinating at holiday destination

by Lorraine Williamson
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MADRID – Director Fernando Simón of the corona crisis centre suggested last Monday the possibility of giving residents of Spain their first or second shot at their holiday destination. Furthermore, a number of regions have already agreed to do this. 

It could mean an adjustment in the vaccination strategy that the Spanish Ministry of Health currently does not approve of. Nevertheless, a spokesperson for this ministry said a number of exception rules are being worked on. However, it is not yet known exactly what those are. 

So far, the regions of Andalucia, Cantabria, the Balearic Islands and Valencia have expressed their willingness to vaccinate national tourists at their holiday destination within their region. Valencia has already started doing that. Andalucia is investigating the possibilities of inviting tourists for their vaccination. On the other hand, The Basque Country is not in favour of this change of strategy and does not wish to jeopardise the progress of the campaign in favour of holidaymakers. 

Casa Las Dunas Spain

Logistical and administrative problems 

Experts believe that vaccinating tourists is feasible, but that it will complicate the logistics vaccination process. The problem lies in the distribution of the vaccines across the regions and the administrative processing of the vaccinations outside the own region. At present, the vaccines are distributed on the basis of population data provided by the statistical office INE. Alberto Infante of the Instituto de Salud Carlos III agrees this may not be a practical in view of the upcoming holiday period. After all, many inhabitants from the interior of Spain will move to the Spanish coastal areas during the summer months. 

Largest group is vaccinated in high season 

At present, all inhabitants between 40 and 49 years of age in Spain are in the process of being vaccinated. With 8 million people, this is the largest age category. A total of 16.7 million inhabitants of Spain (aged 25 to 49) will receive their first or second vaccination in the coming high season months. This is a time when many will be on holiday, perhaps elsewhere in Spain. Therefore that may pose a problem if they are only allowed to be vaccinated in their own region. 

Easier to wait

Simón announced last Monday that injections in another region may be possible, but necessary administrative actions must be carried out. Therefore, it is simpler, according to Simón. The second vaccination can then be administered after the holiday in one’s own region. The fact that there is more time between the first and second injection is not a problem, according to Simón. 

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