Impossible to escape it. In April, on Spanish social networks, thousands of messages, posted by euphoric Internet users, announced the vaccination of their dear parents with a lot of smileys. In a country hard hit by the pandemic and where family ties are very strong, the campaign, which was then open to those over 70, sparked a wave of joy, relief and hope. Three months later, the figures confirm this enthusiasm without reservation: 100% of over 80s are vaccinated, 98.6% of over 70s have received at least one dose and 94.6% of over 60s.
“When we called the older people to give them a date, they were moved, extremely grateful: for them, it was like a gift we gave them”, remembers Cristina Navarro, 50-year-old administrative worker at the Hospital 12-de-Octubre in Madrid and volunteer for the vaccination campaign.
73-year-old Madrid pensioner Marisa Munoz confirms: “We were so scared of the virus and not being able to kiss our grandchildren was so hard that my husband and I were eagerly awaiting the vaccine. “ In mid-April, an SMS warned her that she could come to the Gregorio-Maranon hospital, ten minutes walk from her home, to be vaccinated. The date and time were indicated. She didn’t hesitate for a second. “Everyone, among our friends and our walking group, got vaccinated, and I don’t know anyone who had doubts”, she adds. And for good reason: Spain has not experienced a real debate on vaccines.
“I was given an appointment, I made up my mind”
The antivax movement is mainly represented there by the singer and actor Miguel Bosé, who called the pandemic “Invented by governments”, and by an association, Doctors for the truth, to which the media have refrained from serving as a speaker. Even the five deaths from thrombosis associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine injection have not chipped Spain’s faith in vaccination. “You have to trust science, sums up Laura Rubio, 69, a retired infirmary assistant, who received the two doses of the vaccine from the Anglo-Swedish laboratory. Even though there are risks of side effects, vaccination is always positive if we are to resume normal life. “ According to the Center for Sociological Research, only 6% of Spaniards are opposed to being vaccinated.
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