Spain will set up a registry of people who refuse to be vaccinated against the new coronavirus and share it with other European Union member states, although it will not be made public, Health Minister Salvador Illa said Monday.
During an interview with La Sexta television, Illa reiterated that vaccination against the virus -- which as in most EU nations began in Spain over the weekend -- would not be mandatory.
“What will be done is a registry, which will be shared with our European partners... of those people who have been offered it and have simply rejected it,” he said.
“It is not a document which will be made public and it will be done with the utmost respect for data protection,” he added, noting that employers or members of the general public would not have access to it.
The proportion of Spaniards unwilling to take a COVID-19 vaccine has plunged to 28 percent in December from 47 percent last month, according to a poll published last month.
The survey by the state-funded CIS research institute found 40.5 percent of respondents are willing to have the jab while 16.2 percent would do so if it is shown to be “reliable.”
Spain has been one of Europe’s worst-hit countries by the pandemic, with the virus death toll passing the 50,000 mark on Monday, according to the health ministry.
Nearly 1.9 million people have been infected.
The government expects to have between 15 million and 20 million people out of its population of 47 million vaccinated against the virus by June.
“The way to defeat the virus is to vaccinate all of us or the more the better,” Illa said.