Atletico Madrid's football stadium turns into mass-vaccination center
Rahul Pathak in Madrid
Atletico Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano football stadium is playing center stage in the Spanish capital's vaccination drive, with the aim of delivering 10,000 jabs a day.
The club, which currently leads Spain's top division, La Liga, is accustomed to bringing in large crowds but this time it isn't to watch its soccer stars.
Madrid's regional government premier Isabel Ayuso is targeting an impressive 10,000 vaccinations a day at the Wanda Metropolitano, which has become the Spanish capital's newest and biggest vaccination center.
Many of the people queuing outside the stadium are key workers such as police officers and other members of the emergency services, who are due to get the AstraZeneca jab.
"We do feel safer because we hope this can end the problem. I think everybody should get vaccinated," police officer Sergio Perez told CGTN Europe.
Emergency service worker Sonia Plaza said the start of mass vaccinations means she can finally see a way out of the COVID-19 crisis.
"Right now, this is the most important weapon we have. We don't know when this will end, but we know that with this strategy we can prevent a lot more infections. For us, we now have a means to an end," she said.
For Ayuso the key is to get as many vaccination doses as possible.
"We will work dose-by-dose to get everybody vaccinated as soon as possible," said the Madrid premier.
"Every single group and every person is important. In order to do that we need more doses for vaccination, this is how we measure the success or failure of this fight against COVID."
Although Madrid is ramping up the vaccination drive, Spain has a long way to go if it is to make its original target of getting 70 percent of the population inoculated by the summer.