The acting head of Catalonia's regional government urged European authorities on Friday to speed up approvals of new COVID-19 vaccines such as Russia's Sputnik V.
Spain, along with most of the European Union, has suffered from delays in obtaining the three vaccines already approved by the European Medicines Agency, manufactured by Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca.
While infection rates have retreated from January's peak, 40% of all intensive care beds are still occupied by COVID-19 patients.
In Catalonia, in Spain's northeast, the figure is close to 45%. In a phone interview, Pere Aragones said this was unsustainable in the medium term.
"We urge European authorities to accelerate the evaluation processes of vaccines, for instance the Sputnik, which could have a major positive impact," he said.
Peer-reviewed late-stage trial results published in the international medical journal The Lancet this month and endorsed by outside scientists showed the Russian vaccine to be almost 92% effective in preventing COVID-19 symptoms.
Catalonia accounts for almost 10,000 of the more than 64,000 people who have succumbed to the virus in Spain.
It has so far administered over 357,000 doses of the three available vaccines, but Aragones said it had the capacity to administer around 150,000 a day.