Spain reached on September 1 the objective set in January by the Government of vaccinating 70% of the population before the end of the summer. Eight months after the first puncture on December 27, 2020, 36.5 million people have already received at least one dose and almost 33.4 have the full schedule, after 457,207 vaccines administered in the last 24 hours. The Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, described these figures as “collective success”, although she insisted that this was “a milestone, not a goal.” Spain has become the largest country that has managed to vaccinate 70% of its population.
Which communities have promoted and which have weighed down the goal of 70% vaccinated
However, in recent months, senior right-wing officials have made public statements that they were not confident that the goal would be achieved within the proposed deadline. The first of them was the leader of the Popular Party, Pablo Casado, who at the end of December in a ceremony in Catalonia assured that if “the rhythm of that government’s ‘no plan’ of vaccination” was followed, “Spain would take” four years to have the entire population immunized. ”
Other voices within the main opposition party have spoken in a similar vein. Last July, during a provincial congress held in León, the general secretary of the PP, Teodoro García Egea, spoke of the vaccination plan, misrepresenting Sánchez’s words. “Pedro Sánchez said that he was going to vaccinate 70% of the population before the summer (…). Again the Prime Minister has failed,” he said then. In reality, what the chief executive had promised is that 70% of the population would be vaccinated by the end of August.
The Vox deputy, Macarena Olona, incurred the same confusion through her Twitter account, which accused the president of “lying” for not meeting the objective before the summer.
However, Vox forecasts that the government would not achieve the goal before the summer date back to almost the start of the campaign. On February 24, the party leader, Santiago Abascal, questioned the Executive’s decisions on vaccination, said that Sánchez had starred in a failure in the negotiation of the purchase of vaccines and that the EU was showing itself “incapable” in this matter. “The vaccination speed needs to be ten times higher than the current one to reach that goal,” he accused.
A few months later, precisely the day on which the President of the Government outlined the goals of the vaccination campaign, on April 6, the spokesperson for Vox in Congress, Iván Espinosa de los Monteros, also reduced the credibility of the official forecasts. At that time, the deputy from the far-right formation considered it “extremely unlikely” to reach those vaccination levels before the summer if the inoculation rate of that moment was maintained. “Sánchez lacks minimal knowledge of arithmetic progression,” he went on to say.
Also the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, questioned in recent months that 70% of Spaniards were immunized at the beginning of September. In April, during the crisis with the Astrazeneca vaccines, he accused the Government of “changing its criteria” and assured that the president did not know the doses that would reach the country during those weeks of uncertainty, which questioned whether he could ensure that he would achieve the established vaccination plan.
More forceful was Toni Cantó, who in a tweet last January said that Spain would end the campaign “in September 2023” at the rate it was going at that time. The now director of the Spanish Office predicted that for this summer “only 19% of Spaniards would have been vaccinated.”
Different regional positions have also questioned the Executive’s commitment. Among them, the president of the Junta de Andalucía, Juanma Moreno. In February, the popular leader warned in the autonomous Parliament that, with the delivery rate, only 10% of citizens with double standards would reach in March, a “clearly insufficient” figure and very far from that “great goal” set. For his part, the president of the PP of Castilla-La Mancha, Paco Nuñez, also assured that, with the April vaccination data at the national and regional level, promising 70% of immunized at the end of the summer, generated “uncertainty, lack of control , distrust and despair “. And he promised that, if the objective is met, he would congratulate administrations and health workers.