The vaccination rate in the Balearics has generally been behind that of other regions from the word go. | Archive

Balearic health minister Patricia Gómez suggested on Friday that the foreign population of the islands - the highest in percentage terms among Spain's regions - is an "influential factor" in the Balearics having the lowest percentage rate of vaccination in the country.

Figures from Spain's health ministry, which are never the same as those from the Balearic health ministry, point to an 81% rate of vaccination (from the age of 12) compared to a Spanish average of 90.7%. The percentage of foreign residents is 18.7%, whereas it is 11.4% for the whole of Spain.

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During the visit by Spain's health minister, Carolina Darias, to Son Llàtzer Hospital, Gómez was asked about the different rates of vaccination and referred to the foreign population. She didn't give any information regarding unwillingness to be vaccinated but indicated that the percentages were similar to those in people's countries of origin.

Darias meanwhile praised efforts being made in the Balearics to encourage vaccination, especially that of children.

At present, 32.6% of five to eleven-year-olds have been vaccinated, well below the national 54.1%. Gómez pointed out that the Balearics started vaccination for ages five to eight later than other regions. This, together with the infection rate among the under-12, has led to a delay in vaccination.