In Spain, a scandal was unleashed with the vaccination against Covid-19 of the military, whose leadership would not have respected the established protocol, which ended up causing the resignation of the Chief of Defense Staff (JEMAD), General Miguel Angel Villarroya.
Villarroya presented his resignation to the Defense Minister, Margarita Robles, who accepted it immediately and demanded an investigation into what happened.
The military chief defended himself by pointing out that at no time did he take advantage of “unjustifiable privileges” and that he respected the protocols established by the authorities.
The Chief of Defense Staff, Miguel Ángel Villarroya (d) and the Defense Minister, Margarita Robles. (DPA)
This case is one of many that this week has generated a growing controversy in Spain, when the names were made public of politicians and municipal and institutional representatives who have agreed to vaccinations without still being in the assumptions foreseen to be inoculated.
The fact coincides with a very critical situation in the country, with the third wave of the virus generating a peak of infections that threaten to collapse hospitals and ucis again, and there is even a fear of a greater impact on the population than the first wave , almost a year ago.
A controversial topic
General Villarroya received the vaccine together with several senior military leaders within the vaccination plan of the Defense Staff, which has been assigned by the Ministry of Health a quota of vaccines apart from those distributed among the autonomous communities to be supplied to the civilian population.
Within this quota, the Defense General Staff corresponds to a percentage for which an order of priorities was established: medical personnel, military personnel who are going to participate in international missions and finally, command structure following an age criterion.
Within the General Staff, all its health personnel have already been vaccinated and the vaccine is being supplied to the troops who will be part of international operations, such as those who will soon embark on the Navy ships’ Cazaminas’ and ‘ Block’.
Spain started an extensive vaccination campaign with the substance purchased from Pfizer-BioNTech. (AFP)
Once this procedure was completed, the third group in the order of priorities began, the operational structure to ensure command of operations.
Since in this case the criterion is age, the generals were the first to receive the first dose of the vaccine, including Villarroya. However, NCOs or civilians of the General Staff who met these requirements were also vaccinated.
A sensitive case in the midst of the pandemic
The high command affirms that the vaccination of Villarroya took place “in compliance with its obligations, according to the established protocols and with the sole purpose of preserving the integrity, continuity and effectiveness of the operational chain of the Armed Forces.”
However, and in the midst of the controversy, the military authorities recognized that the decision to receive the vaccine against Covid-19 is “deteriorating the public image” of the Armed Forces and questioning his own “honesty”.
This thatl second case of its kind in the security forces. This Friday, the Interior Minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, ddecided to terminate the Civil Guard officer who was liaising with the General Staff Defense and that he had also been vaccinated.
Minister Robles acknowledged that she had learned about the issue through the media, and announced that she had asked the JEMAD for a report to find out the form of action and the protocols that had guided the order of vaccinations.