Spanish regions step up Covid-19 vaccine rollouts for young people

Spanish regions step up Covid-19 vaccine rollouts for young people
Spain's regions open up Covid-19 vaccine appointments for the young. Photo: Pascal POCHARD-CASABIANCA / AFP
Despite the Spanish Health Ministry on Wednesday ruling out prioritising Covid-19 vaccines for the young due to rising infections and variants, several regions have stepped up appointments for this age group.

During a press conference at the meeting of the Interterritorial Council on Wednesday, Health Minister Carolina Darias said that there would be no changes beyond trying to speed up the Covid-19 vaccination process in general and asked for “prudence” and “responsibility” among the young.

However, on the same day, Catalan health authorities extended their Covid-19 vaccine rollout and opened up appointments for all adults. This means that now anyone over the age of 16 can register for the vaccine in the region.

This comes after 3,500 new Covid-19 infections were recorded in Catalonia in the last 24 hours, with most cases affecting the young and unvaccinated. There is however still a decrease in the number of hospitalisations in the region.

The Balearic Islands also announced on Wednesday that they had opened vaccine appointments for those between 16 and 29 after the recent outbreak in Mallorca caused by a group of students on an end-of-school-year trip.

READ ALSO: FOCUS: How student holidays in Mallorca turned into a Covid super spreader in Spain 

“Our main concern is the young people,” said the Balearic health service director, Eugenia Carandell.

Murcia also announced it would step up its vaccination of the young, saying that people between the ages of 12 and 29 would be able to book an appointment from August.  

Galicia too announced that it would speed up its vaccination of the young, offering appointments for those from the age of 18, however soon afterward the local government seemed to backtrack on their statement when President of the region Alberto Núñez Feijóo said there wouldn’t be enough Covid vaccines for the young right now.

“We do not have vaccines for young people, so we ask that you be patient and wait a few weeks because this will be the last summer with restrictions, providing we get to autumn without any explosive outbreaks,” he told the press in Vigo on Tuesday. 

The Canary Islands was the first Spanish region to open Covid-19 vaccination appointments for all adults at the end of May, when it announced that anyone over the age of 16 could register for an appointment.

READ ALSO: Covid-19 vaccine for people in their 30s in Spain: What you need to know

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