Spain says it will keep a registry of individuals who refuse to take the COVID-19 vaccine and will share the list with other European Union countries.
While the vaccine will not be mandatory, Spain Health Minister Salvador Illa said on Monday that those who choose not to take the vaccine will be named on the register, reported L’Unione Sarda, the oldest newspaper in Sardinia.
According to BBC News, Illa reiterated that the vaccine would not be mandatory during an interview with La Sexta television Monday, adding, “It is not a document which will be made public and it will be done with the utmost respect for data protection.”
“People who are offered a therapy that they refuse for any reason, it will be noted in the register… that there is no error in the system, not to have given this person the possibility of being vaccinated,” Illa said.
BBC news reported that a recent poll showed the number of Spanish citizens who have said they will refuse the vaccine dropped from 47 percent to 28 percent last month.
Illa said regional authorities would contact individuals when it was their turn to receive the vaccine.
“People who decide not to get vaccinated, which we think is a mistake, are within their rights,” Illa told reporters. “We are going to try to solve doubts. Getting vaccinated saves lives, it is the way out of this pandemic.”
Despite insisting the registry would be handled privately, Illa said it will be share with other nations.
“What will be done is a register, which will be shared with our European partners … of those people who have been offered it and have simply rejected it,” he said.
“But the fact that it will be shared with other EU countries may lead to a ban on travel for those who refuse the drug,” said L’Unione Sarda. “Not to mention the fact that Spain’s decision could pave the way for similar measures in other European countries.”
Roughly 1.8 million people in Spain have contracted the illness over the last year, with 50,000 of those infections resulting in death as of Monday. The country of Spain has a population of 46.9 million people.
Spain implemented a nationwide curfew that runs from 23:00 to 06:00 through early May 2021. A number of regions only allow people to go to work, purchase medication or care for the elderly and children. Regional officials are able to adjust curfew times, as well as close borders for travel.