Foreign residents living in the Canary Islands without public healthcare are now able to register for the COVID-19 vaccine, it has been announced.
On Thursday, the British Embassy in Spain via its Facebook page clarified the situation saying: “We have been contacted by some of you who are living in the Canary Islands who do not have a 'tarjeta sanitaria' (public health card) – for example those of you with private health insurance - who have had difficulty registering for the Covid-19 vaccine.
“The Canary Islands’ government has confirmed today that you should go to your local health centre to register your contact details. To do so you must show your identification documentation such as your passport and a padrón certificate to demonstrate that you are a resident in the Canary Islands. Once registered, you will be issued an appointment for the vaccine according to the priority group you are in.”
Up until now, the Spanish archipelago authorities have been slow to confirm just how foreign residents who only have private health insurance, are able to register themselves.
Anne Hernández of Brexpats in Spain informed The Local Spain in recent days that many British residents in the region had contacted her to find out why the Canary Government hadn’t offered a solution to the problem.
Other regions of the country have been more forthcoming in providing residents with the information they need in order to register themselves for the jab by either registering at their town hall, contacting their local health centre or obtaining a temporary public health card. However, this option has not been available to those in the Canary Islands, until now.
In a recently published post on the Canary government website, they state that foreign citizens without a health card and legally residing in the region could now register.
“To do this, they can go in person to their nearest health center to update their contact information, providing a registration certificate that effectively certifies that they are residents of the islands, as well as their identification document as their passport. Once their data is registered in the Canary Islands Health Service (SCS) system, they will be scheduled and vaccinated at the established vaccination points and always with prioritization by age group.”
The website says that those between the ages of 50 and 59 have now started to receive their vaccinations and that a number in their 60s have already received their first shot.
The announcement will help to reassure those British and other foreign residents who do not currently have access to public health services, as the vaccine is not available in private health clinics anywhere in Spain.
Image Credit: Gobierno de Canarias