An eight-week decline in Spain's coronavirus infection rate has begun to tail off, Health Minister Carolina Darias said on Wednesday, pointing to younger people who are less likely to be vaccinated as the cause.
"The stagnation of the decline we have been seeing is heavily influenced by the epidemic in population groups below the age of 50," she told a news conference after a weekly meeting of regional health chiefs.
Unlike neighbouring France, which plans to offer vaccines to all adults from May 31, Spain is progressively working its way downwards through age groups and has just begun giving shots to people aged 50-59.
Nevertheless, the national incidence of the virus as measured over the past 14 days reached 126 cases per 100,000 people on Wednesday, down 13% in a week. In the coastal region of Valencia, the incidence fell to just 31 cases, among the lowest in Europe.
Health Ministry data showed Spain had administered some 25.3 million vaccine doses and 8.4 million people have received a full course.
The ministry reported 5,007 new cases on Wednesday, bringing the cumulative number of infections to 3.65 million. The death toll rose by 54 to 79,801.
Earlier this month Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said a delivery of some 13 million doses in June would help Spain hit its target of vaccinating 70% of the population by mid-August.