Salvador Illa during a Congress committee appearance on Thursday. | Emilio Naranjo

Spain's health minister, Salvador Illa, has confirmed the population groups which, over three phases starting in January and ending in the summer, will receive a Covid vaccine.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Illa said that the first will be residents of care homes for the elderly and of centres for the disabled. Then will come frontline healthcare personnel and other healthcare professionals, personnel at care homes and centres for the disabled, and people with disabilities who require significant care but who are not in homes. The government estimates that 2.5 million people will be vaccinated during this first phase between January and March.

The vaccination phases have yet to be determined for the other groups: the over-65s; people with risk conditions; people who live or work in closed communities or environments; people who are vulnerable due to their socioeconomic situation; people performing essential jobs; teachers; children, adolescents and young people; people who live in areas with major coronavirus outbreaks or high incidence; pregnant and lactating women; people who are HIV positive.

Related news

Illa explained that the groups have been established based on risk of mortality, exposure to the disease, socioeconomic impact and transmission. "As we receive information on vaccine availability, the groups will be assigned to phases two and three." Phase 2 will be from March until the end of May or early June, with Phase 3 to be during the summer.

The minister stated that vaccines which receive authorisation will have safety and efficacy requirements. If a vaccine does not meet these requirements, it will not be administered in the European Union.

Spain will be getting 140 million doses. "There will be vaccines for all the people in Spain and for exercising our solidarity tasks," Illa added. The contracts signed by the European Commission are at present for up to 1,400 million doses. These would represent 800 million immunisations. With the exception of the Janssen vaccine, which would be single dose, those of AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer are double dose.