SPAIN will receive 600,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine within the next six weeks as part of the European Union contract. 

Salvador Illa, the health minister, said that the first doses of the coronavirus vaccine developed by the American pharmaceutical company will arrive in ‘the next seven or 10 days’. 

The decision follows a recommendation on Wednesday (January 6) by the European Medicines Agency, that the vaccine should be authorised for use in the 27-member bloc.

Moderna’s vaccine is the second to be approved by the European Medicines Agency after BioNTech/Pfizer’s jab late last year. 

The European Commission has confirmed the order of 300m doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine and 80m doses of the Moderna vaccine, with an option to double the amount. 

Despite the good news, Illa has admitted that COVID-19 remains a ‘very high concern’ in Spain, adding that ‘very complicated weeks are coming’.

The Spanish Government hopes to vaccinate nearly half of the country’s 47 million population by early summer, with an initial target of 2.5 million people by the end of February.

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A poll in November found that 47% of people in Spain were unwilling to take a coronavirus vaccine, although that has fallen to 28% in recent weeks.

 Illa previously said that those who refused the jab were within their rights to do so but warned that their names would be shared with other European nations in much the same way as health records for ‘other treatments’.

He said the register would consist of those who had been offered a vaccine and ‘simply rejected it’ but confirmed that the list would not be shared with the public or employers.

“People who decide not to get vaccinated, which we think is a mistake, are within their rights,” Illa said. “We are going to try to solve doubts. Getting vaccinated saves lives, it is the way out of this pandemic.”

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