Pedro Sánchez, speaking on Sunday. | Efe

Speaking in Barcelona on Sunday, Spain's prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, acknowledged that the current rate of Covid incidence was "not good"; the 14-day rate now exceeds 500 per 100,000. Therefore, a videoconference with the presidents of Spain's regions on Wednesday will discuss new measures for fighting the virus over the coming weeks.

Sánchez focused his attention on the vaccination programme, there having been "a wake-up call" to continue vaccinating "the more people the better, either with first doses or with booster doses". "Let us intensify our actions in the face of the spread of the virus."

He warned of the "true and real" risk of the new wave of the virus, which is behaving differently from how it has been doing. Infections are proliferating, but he noted that there are as yet comparatively fewer hospital admissions, including ICU, than during previous waves.

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The prime minister stressed that "vaccines work". "A year ago we did not have any. Today, 90 per cent of the population over the age of twelve has had the complete course." Moreover, there has so far been booster protection for 72 per cent of people aged over 70 years of age. More than ten million booster doses have been given, including a million for people who had the Janssen single dose.

As to the vaccination of children under 12 years of age, Sánchez said that the response has been "formidable", as with other age groups. On Friday alone, 500,000 doses of vaccine were administered in Spain. "Vaccination is the best weapon against the virus."

The criteria of science and the common good must come before all other considerations, Sánchez observed, concluding by expressing his pride in a country of "responsible and supportive citizens".