Read in Catalan

Coronavirus vaccination in the Spanish state is advancing at cruising speed and is likely to accelerate even more. At least, this is the message that Pedro Sánchez delivered in a press appearance this Tuesday, announcing that the uneven flow of vaccine shots up till now is set to turn into a veritable flood. The Spanish PM took stock of the vaccination figures across Spain and even set a timetable with "milestones": by the end of August, 33 million people will have received shots. This vaccination process, he said, will make the Spanish economy the fastest growing in the developed world along with the United States, citing forecasts from the International Monetary Fund. "We will do it," he said.

Thus, the Spanish prime minister presented his proposed "milestones". Next week there will be more Spaniards fully vaccinated than infections reported. In the week of May 3rd, five million people will have had their two vaccine shots. By the first week of June, ten million. The week of June 14th, 15 million. The week of July 19th, 25 million. And by the end of August, 33 million will have been vaccinated. This figure would represent the 70% of the Spanish population which was the promise at the beginning of the inoculation process.


How will it be achieved? Thanks to the arrival of huge consignments of several different vaccines. Reviewing the numbers from the different pharmaceutical companies, Pedro Sánchez stressed that "we have contracted more than 87 million doses that will arrive between April and September." There will be 38 million this quarter and 47 million the next. Consequently, he said, "any Spaniard who wishes can be vaccinated during this period." He said that Spain is at the forefront of the European Union in terms of vaccination and applauded the "unprecedented effort" of health officials in the autonomous communities. However, he promised that this process "will accelerate during the month of April" and, indeed, that each month it will exceed the previous month. The next groups to be tackled will be those between 70 and 79 years, high-risk patients and the 66-to-69 year age bracket.

In addition to the vaccination figures, the Socialist leader also focused on economic data, especially after the positive unemployment data released on Tuesday. "Both Spain and Europe can already see the end on the horizon," said Pedro Sánchez. While we are "far from full recovery," he stressed that "little by little we will see the effects of reactivation." In fact, he puffed out his chest with a mention of the IMF's updated global growth forecasts. "Spain will be the developed economy with the highest growth in 2021, along with the United States," he said.

No plan to extend the State of Alarm 

During his press appearance at the Moncloa government palace, the place from which he has announced extensions of Spain's emergency status, the State of Alarm, over the last year, he was asked if he plans to extend the current exceptional civil state, which is due to expire on May 9th. The Spanish president gave an assurance that his government's goal is "for it to be unnecessary to extend the State of Alarm further". And he reinforced this: "What we want is for May 9th to be the end of the State of Alarm."


Ayuso and the Russian vaccine

After the Madrid regional government initiatives to buy doses of the Russian Sputnik vaccine, the president of the central government demanded "responsibility, loyalty and seriousness" from Madrid president Isabel Díaz Ayuso. The Spanish PM recalled that Sputnik is still in process of being validated by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). "We, who want to ensure maximum safety, are distributing the vaccine doses that have the seal and validation of the EMA," he said. "This is what the government of Spain, the governments of Europe and the European Commission are doing," he added.

Recovery plan, next week

Finally, Pedro Sánchez announced that next Tuesday's cabinet meeting will approve the recovery plan that the Spanish state will send to the European Commission, and the next day, Wednesday, he will present it to the Congress of Deputies. "We are at the beginning of the end of the pandemic," the Spanish president reiterated during his upbeat press appearance.