Spain to donate COVID-19 vaccine ‘surplus’ to poorer southern Mediterranean countries

“Spain will have – because we have probably bought too many vaccines to immunise all citizens – an amount (of COVID-19 vaccines) that we will allocate to other countries, starting with the neighbouring ones, that may need it most”, Laya told a press conference. [Shutterstock/ seisler]

Spain will donate its surplus of COVID-19 vaccines to the poorest countries in the southern Mediterranean region after it is done vaccinating its entire population next year, said Spain’s socialist Foreign and EU Minister, Arancha González Laya.

“Spain will have – because we have probably bought too many vaccines to immunise all citizens – an amount (of COVID-19 vaccines) that we will allocate to other countries, starting with the neighbouring ones, that may need it most,” Laya told a press conference at the end of a two-day meeting of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) in Barcelona on 27 November.

Spain has been working for months, together with the EU, to facilitate universal access to vaccines, among other instruments through the COVAX initiative, to ensure a fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines for the poorest countries in the world, she added.

In the same UfM forum in Barcelona,  EU High Representative Josep Borrell stressed that the COVID-19 pandemic has no borders, noting that the vaccine should be considered a “global public good”, EFE reported.

“Global access is an ambitious undertaking in which the European Union is very committed and is supporting pharma companies with a lot of money, in addition to distributing the vaccine as a public good”, said the EU’s top diplomat. The Euro-Mediterranean region is a “particularly suitable” place to reach this objective, Borrell added.

“If we Europeans have vaccines, then the whole Mediterranean basin should also have them,” he added. (EUROEFE – Madrid/Barcelona)

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