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Coronavirus

Spain Keeps Immunization Goal Despite J&J Delay

MADRID — Spain’s prime minister says his government is maintaining its goal of immunizing 70% of the nation’s adult population, some 33 million people, by the end of the summer despite the delay in the European rollout of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Spain was expecting to receive 300,000 doses of the Janssen vaccine on Wednesday, the first delivery of the jab produced by Johnson & Johnson. The country wants to prioritize people aged between 70 and 79 to receive the single-dose vaccine.

But those plans had to be put on hold after the pharmaceutical company delayed delivery of the vaccine to European countries following the decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to pause the shots in the United States to investigate possible links to very rare blood clots.

The hold up comes after various delays in shipments of other vaccines and a similar blood clot scare with the AstraZeneca vaccine that led Spain to limit it to people over 60 years old.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, however, told Spain’s Parliament on Wednesday that “the pace of vaccination is going to accelerate in the month of April and (…) we will meet out goal.”

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