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Spain could develop Covid-19 herd immunity by end of summer 2021 – minister

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Health minister says a vaccination programme will start in January and by the end of the northern summer more than two thirds of the population of 47 million should be vaccinated.

A woman has her temperature measured as she checks in at a hotel in Sevilla, Spain. Picture: EPA-EFE/Jose Manuel Vidal

MADRID – Spain should achieve herd immunity from Covid-19 by the end of the northern summer 2021 if enough people are vaccinated by then, the health minister said in an interview published on Sunday.

Salvador Illa said a vaccination programme will start in January and by the end of the summer more than two thirds of the population of 47 million should be vaccinated.

“In Europe, even if it is not the final end, we will be in a very different stage. That is why I think we are at the beginning of the end with this time horizon that I say, from five to six months,” he told Publico newspaper.

Asked if this meant that Spain would achieve herd immunity, Illa replied: “Yes. It is what the technicians call that, that people have immunity either because they are vaccinated or because they have had the disease.”

However, Illa cautioned Spaniards against dropping their guard during the Christmas period. Spain has been one of the worst hit countries in Europe by the coronavirus.

New cases rose by 10,519 to 1,730,575 on Friday, according to health ministry data, while the number of deaths increased by 280, bringing the total to 47,624.

Reuters

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