New Vigilance and Control Strategy against COVID-19 for Spain. Seeking the “fluisation” and “endemisation” of the Virus.

[This document represents a summary of the current Spanish strategy for fighting against COVID-19 (as available at the end of April 2022) produced by the Spanish researchers of the Erasmus+ STEP_UP project] 

At the end of March 2022, the Spanish government finally presented and activated the new national “Strategy of Vigilance and Control against COVID-19 after the acute stage of the Pandemic”, co-produced by the Health Ministry of Spain and the Carlos III Health Institute.

The strategy acknowledges that the very high levels of vaccinated residents of Spain – over 92% of the population by the strategy’s publication date ­– and the lower-than-expected rates of hospitalisations during the country’s sixth wave of the virus have now determined a key possibility for turning the tables on the interpretation of the pandemic and over how to deal with it. The Spanish press has already named this (political) process as the “fluisation” of the virus (from the Spanish “Gripalización del virus”, to consider the virus as the flu) or even as the “endemisation” of the disease. This is conceived as a stage in which the COVID-19 disease will be increasingly treated at medical level as more common flus. Nonetheless, the strategy considers that there are exceptions to the new rules (i.e., vulnerable community residences) and that the population must not forget to maintain a careful hygiene, prevention and responsible control strategy for spreading the virus.

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