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Spanish Government to Record People Refusing to Vaccinate Against COVID-19, Health Minister Says

© REUTERS / JUAN MEDINA People queue to get tested amid the coronavirus disease ( COVID-19) pandemic in Madrid, Spain, December 21, 2020
 People queue to get tested amid the coronavirus disease ( COVID-19) pandemic in Madrid, Spain, December 21, 2020 - Sputnik International
Spanish authorities will also share data from the new registry with European Union member-states, but not employers or the general public, the key Spanish minister said.

The Spanish government will soon launch a registry of people refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19, national Health Minister Salvador Illa said on Monday.

The best way to tackle the ongoing pandemic was "to vaccinate all of us - the more the better" and the vaccine would not be mandatory, he said in an interview with La Sexta television.

"People who are offered a therapy that they refuse for any reason, it will be noted in the register... that there is no error in the system, not to have given this person the possibility of being vaccinated," he added.

Illa also said in separate comments regional authorities would contact people for vaccination.

"People who decide not to get vaccinated, which we think is a mistake, are within their rights. We are going to try to solve doubts. Getting vaccinated saves lives, it is the way out of this pandemic," he told reporters.

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The news comes as the nation has remained under nightly curfews from 23:00 to 06:00, set to last until early May, with regional leaders setting rules and changes on lockdown procedures.

Concerns Over COVID-19 Vaccine Deliveries

Spanish authorities have voiced concerns over the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, namely whether issues related to transport and refrigeration would adversely impact the efficacy of the jabs.

Pfizer also informed officials in Madrid it would require a one-day delivery due to logistics issues at the pharmaceutical giant's factory in Belgium.

A health worker prepares an injection with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues, at Balafia nursing home, in Lleida, Spain, 27 December 2020 - Sputnik International
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The issue was "linked to the control of the temperature" but had been resolved and vaccines would be "available tomorrow first thing in the morning” due to the delay, Illa told public radio, as quoted by Reuters.

The news comes after the EU began rolling out vaccinations across member-states on 27 December.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires refrigeration temperatures of roughly -70 degrees Celsius and can be stored for up to five days from 2 to 8 degrees outside of freezers, media reported in December.

Prior to the statement, Reuters also reported delays in several German cities due to 1,000 vaccine doses not being properly refrigerated.

The news comes as Spain's official infection rate and death toll surpassed 1.8 mln and 50,000, respectively, on Monday.

To date, over 81m people have contracted coronavirus, resulting in nearly 1.8 mln deaths globally. Over 16.2 mln cases and nearly 404,000 deaths have been reported across the EU and United Kingdom, data from the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention revealed.

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