MADRID — Spain’s top health official says the government wants to inoculate against COVID-19 at least 10 million of the country’s 47 million using a new vaccine developed by U.S. pharmaceutical Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech.
Pfizer Inc. said Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine may be a remarkable 90% effective, based on early and incomplete test results that nevertheless brought widespread optimism.
Health Minister Salvador Illa said Tuesday that the vaccination would be free. He expects that enough people in Spain will be inoculated, together with purchases of other vaccines, by May 2021.
The country expects to receive the first doses from Pfizer in early 2021, the minister told public broadcaster TVE.
He also vowed to counter with scientific arguments people who are against vaccinating. The country’s polling institute, CIS, says 43% of Spaniards are wary of receiving the vaccine.
“We are going to be very clear and convincing against people who tell lies and who play with anti-science,” Illa said.
Spain has recorded more than 39,000 virus-related deaths and more than 1.38 million cases.