OVIEDO, Spain

Araceli, a 96-year-old woman, laughed after receiving Spain’s first COVID-19 vaccine in a nursing home in Guadalajara on Sunday morning.

She said she hardly felt the shot.

“Let’s see if everyone behaves well and we can make this virus go away,” said Araceli, who wore a blue pantsuit and a white silk scarf to the first of her two vaccine appointments.

She is the oldest resident of Los Olmos nursing home.

Minutes after, Monica, an assistant nurse at the center, got the same Pfizer/BioNTech shot.

She said she was nervous, but her tension appeared to be more due to sending an important message to the media than about the needle.

“We want the majority of people to get vaccinated,” said Monica. “A lot of people have died and it is a shame that more people haven’t made it long enough to get vaccinated.”

She explained how the nursing home had lost several people to COVID-19.

“They died without the warmth of their family, and it was sad. Let’s see if we can bring an end to this soon,” she said from behind two face masks.

Nearly 50,000 people have died of COVID-19 in Spain in less than a year, according to Spanish Health Ministry data.

Spain plans to carry out the first phase of vaccinations on people like Araceli and Monica – residents and workers of nursing homes, as well as front-line healthcare workers and highly disabled people.

Over the next three months, enough Pfizer/BioNTech doses for around 2.3 million people are expected to arrive in Spain.

Spain, with a population of 47 million, has placed enough orders to vaccinate 80 million people. Yet, whether it will all arrive depends on the success of five other vaccine companies.

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