Spain defense chief resigns for getting vaccine before allowed

The chief of the defense staff in Spain has resigned, the armed forces said, after a row over him getting the novel coronavirus disease vaccination despite not being on a priority list.

General Miguel Angel Villarroya’s resignation came as a scandal brews over several Spanish military and political officials getting early vaccinations supposedly reserved for health workers and people in retirement homes.

The 63-year-old general was quoted as saying he had “never intended to take advantage of unjustifiable privileges.”

His departure came just a day after the Spanish interior ministry sacked a lieutenant-colonel who served as a staff liaison to the civil guard, because an internal report found he had received the shot without being a priority. Politicians have also resigned over receiving the vaccine out of turn.

Spain has been hard-hit by the pandemic, having recorded over 55,000 deaths from nearly 2.5 million coronavirus cases so far.

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