Europe

Spain sees uptake of vaccines by younger people amid COVID-19 surge

Spanish health authorities say there”s been an uptake in COVID-19 vaccines as contagions start to surge once more.

More than 61,000 new cases were reported last Monday, the highest single-day figure for almost six months.

The vaccination campaign started slowly but has gathered pace and no vaccines are being wasted.

“People are really looking forward to getting vaccinated,” explained Joan Castello, the head of the vaccination centre at Terrassa, near Barcelona. “The citizens are responding very well. And I think we are vaccinating at a good speed.”

The focus for jabs is now on younger people, many of whom were sceptical or complacent at the start, but are now showing support for vaccination by coming forward in larger numbers.

“I have friends that have caught COVID-19 at big parties,” said Sergio Rosado, who was sitting on a beach in Barcelona. “Lots of people I know have caught it. I’ve been out but to places without many people and in controlled spaces, with face masks. Because people go to parties with 500 people standing side by side and it shouldn’t be like that.”

The relative success of the country’s vaccination program has been linked to Spain’s efficient public health care system and a well-ordered vaccination plan that stuck strictly to age groups.

Fears that the public health care system would be unable to handle the campaign have so far proved unfounded, but health experts are still urging caution.

The dominant strain in Spain is the highly transmissible delta variant.

The country’s COVID-19 death toll stands at just over 81,000.

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