Although the vaccine rollout is beginning to ramp up in Spain, one UK national living in Tenerife revealed he had not been on the country’s vaccination list. Fred Hall who lives in the town of Icod de Los Vinos, revealed he had not been on the state’s vaccine list as he had private healthcare insurance. Due to this, he was forced to contact local officials to alter the list and called on the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and consular services to aid expats living abroad.
Had it not been for his local mayor, Mr Hall claimed he may have missed his vaccine appointment.
Mr Hall told The National: “Thanks to an intervention by my local mayor, my wife and I are now on the vaccine roll-out list.
“I raise the issue because others may not be as fortunate as me with my mayor.
“I believe hundreds if not thousands could be affected by this.
“I am ok but I want to ensure others are ok too, no one is safe until we are all safe.
“The embassy needs to work with the Spanish Government and come up with a workable solution for UK citizens not in the Spanish public health system, then pass that information onto the people they are paid to serve.”
Indeed UK nationals will retain their rights in the EU as long as they remain covered under the withdrawal agreement.
In order to access the national health service in Spain, you must be registered and contribute to the social security system.
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Initially, the UK had claimed vaccines made in the Dutch Halix plant may be exported but following discussions, AstraZeneca has agreed that all but 1.2-1.5 million doses will be delivered to EU states.
Such are the hopes of the rollout the EU’s commissioner in charge with the vaccine programme, Thierry Breton has claimed the tourist season may be salvaged.
He said following talks with AstraZeneca: “I organised a video teleconference between the CEO of Halix and the CEO of AstraZeneca, and finally the CEO of AstraZeneca recognised that all the production of Halix was planned to support the EU delivery.
“That is all I can tell you. The CEO of AstraZeneca told us that in fact since February all the production of Halix has been planned to be delivered to Europe except, he said, one batch, to be very precise.
“AstraZeneca has a commitment: they have committed 70m in quarter two of the financial year and I know that 70m is AstraZeneca’s production, more or less, of Halix and Seneffe.
“This is why I think that they will deliver this commitment, but I just remind you that at the beginning the contract was 180m, so they reduced drastically what they could do.”
The UK’s former ambassador to the EU, Sir Tim Barrow had held talks with officials following threats of a vaccine block to Britain.
Mr Breton added: “If AstraZeneca had delivered the way it should have delivered to us like I understand it did in the UK, we will have been exactly in the same situation, even really better, than the UK today, which did get a great organisation through the NHS to vaccinate people.”