SPANISH health chiefs predict the country will meet its target of vaccinating 70% of the population by summer with a fourth shot expected to be available by March 8.
The current speed of the immunisation programme would mean the country will fall short of the milestone; like many countries in the EU, it is hampered by the slow arrival of doses – at present 90% are used and a small reserve held back in cases of shortages or delays.
But the heath ministry believes the three current vaccines – AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Moderna – would be sufficient to achieve the government target as supplies step up.
A fourth jab from American pharmaceutical company Janssen looks set to win EU approval on March 8 and is likely to join the campaign. It only requires a single dose and so would help boost immunisation figures.
To meet its own target, the government must ensure 2.1 million doses are
administered each week between spring and summer and regional authorities have announced they will make public buildings and spaces available to vaccination teams.
The problem remains gearing up supplies. However, health minister Caroline Darias remained confident; she pointed out the system administered an annual flu shot to 14 million people in just eight weeks at the start of winter.