Spain COVID-19 Employer Resources

In Spain, 5,352,767 doses of Covid-19 vaccines in Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca have been administered until Friday, 80.3% of those distributed among the Autonomous Communities

The epidemic curve in Spain is entering a plateau.  The incidence stands at 132.25 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days, just 1% less than last Wednesday. There are even five territories (Canary Islands, Castilla-La Mancha, La Rioja, Ceuta, and Melilla) that rebound slightly.

Government sources have indicated, “The impact indicators show that we are going in the right direction, but we still have a long way to go until we reach the target of 25 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. We have the bridges of San Jose and Easter ahead of us, which concern us. That is why a great deal of agreement was reached yesterday to reduce mobility during these festivities.” The Health Ministry spokeswoman has warned that the restrictions agreed at the Interterritorial Council for the next holidays – the closure of communities, the curfew at 23.00, and the prohibition of public meetings of more than four people in enclosed spaces – are “mandatory.”

According to the risk traffic light agreed between Health Ministry and Communities to assess the level of alertness of communities to the pandemic, the current incidence and positivity rate of diagnostic tests — 5.43%, slightly above the maximum 5% recommended by the authorities to keep the transmission of the virus at bay – place Spain at average risk, although the situation is very heterogeneous according to the Autonomous Community. Thus, Ceuta (292 cases per 100,000), Madrid (225), and Melilla (409) have the incidence triggered, still at high or very high-risk thresholds.

In addition, Spain still has a strong hospital tension arising from the scouring of the third wave. Intensive care units (ICU) are emptying at a very slow pace and there are still 2,320 people with critically hospitalized COVID-19 patients. This means that almost 23% of ICU beds are still occupied by COVID-infected patients, a situation that puts Spain, at the healthcare level, at high risk, according to the health traffic light. Castilla & León, Asturias, Catalonia, Ceuta, Madrid, and La Rioja are even at extreme risk, with more than 30% of ICU occupied by covid patients.

Spain exceeds 72,000 confirmed deaths from covid since the start of the pandemic, although there could be many more, as in the first wave many people were not diagnosed despite being infected. With a date of death in the last seven days, Sanidad has accounted for 495 deaths.

Spain initiated on 27 December the administration of the Pfizer and BioNTech doses, which has also been reinforced with inoculated doses of the Moderna vaccine. With both drugs it is proposed to immunize in the first phase 2.3 million people since the Pfizer vaccine is double dose: it requires two punctures separated by 21 days. The first people to receive the vaccine in Spain have been the elderly living in senior centers (representing about half of the COVID-19 deaths), frontline health workers, and large dependents. After these groups, the following in the vaccination priority line will be people over the age of 80 (who have not been vaccinated in residences).

At the current rate, it would take 1 year and 4 months to vaccinate 70% of the population (with two doses)

Employers have a general responsibility to ensure that all possible practical prevention and protection measures are taken to minimize occupational hazards.

Companies and employers can play a key role in preventing and slowing the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the workplace. Preparation plans, covid-19 response, and control of employers should include factors such as the possibility of maintaining social distancing in the workplace, the possibility of staggering employee shifts, the degree of face-to-face interaction of employees with the public, the ability to perform their tasks remotely, the geographical isolation of the workplace, whether employees live in a shared accommodation space, the proportion of employees most at risk of serious illness, among others.

COVID-19 vaccine considerations for Spain

  • Can employers mandate the vaccine?
  • Who will control delivery of the vaccine?
    Public health service
  • Who covers the cost of the vaccine?
    Public health service
  • Where will people get vaccinated?
    Government designated vaccination locations
  • Is there cultural resistance to getting the vaccine?
    More people are in favor of the vaccine than not.

Additional vaccination insights

  • Priority groups – The Council of Ministers approved the vaccination plan, according to which the first to be vaccinated when the first doses arrive will be in this order health workers from nursing homes and disabled centers, the rest of the health professionals and large dependents even if they are not admitted to any center. In fact, vaccination started last Sunday
  • Three-time periods – Health care authorities have raised a plan that sets out three stages: a very limited initial between January and March, a second to June, and a third in which it will be widely vaccinated.
  • Vaccination points – The Ministry of Health will have 13,000 vaccination points located in the Primary Assistance Centers and other health facilities.
  • Universal and equitable access – The National Health System in Spain will facilitate equitable access to vaccinations which will be free of charge.
  • Monitoring and evaluation – Health authorities are implementing an information and registration system for monitoring and evaluating the vaccine’s efficacy.

The employer’s role

Nothing related to the vaccine has translated to the private health system, therefore employers cannot do much at the moment. Nevertheless, as with the COVID-19 testing experience, they started to be provided only by Social Security (public Hospitals and public Primary Centers), later also by private Hospitals (managed by Health Providers) following Social Security protocols and next also private labs previous payment could also provide them. It may work the same way with COVID vaccines but it is too early to tell.

More Information

Spain’s Health Ministry

Composite of COVID-19 News and Statistics for Spain

This information is provided by SARE, Asinta's partner in Spain.

Employee Benefits in Spain

Get insights on mandatory and common supplementary employee benefits in Spain.

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Top 6 Vaccine Considerations

Use our decision matrix to help support your employees.

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Page last modified: March 14, 2021

The information presented on this site is current as of the date initially posted; and, because matters related to COVID-19, the vaccine, and compliance measures are changing so quickly, it may not be current as of the date you read it. While the information gathered here is from Asinta global partners who are subject matter experts in their respective fields, this information is not meant to be a substitute for individual legal or medical advice, or as a substitute for advice in your specific situation.

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