The number of coronas infections is also on the rise in Spain. As such, the Ministry of Health is afraid of a new wave. Therefore, it has announced that all Spaniards will be able to receive a fourth dose of the vaccine, a second booster shot.
The Spanish Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, announced this on Thursday. However, she did not give a starting date. ‘There will be a fourth dose for the whole population. We just have to decide when,’ she said. Moreover, the Spanish health ministry is sticking to its original plan of giving this dose to the elderly first.
In statements to the Spanish television channel La Sexta. Darias added that the second booster dose could probably be started in autumn. This is because according to ‘the contracts that the Spanish government has concluded with the pharmaceutical companies through the European Union’, new vaccines adapted to the current virus variants will arrive at that time. The fourth dose, as in previous vaccination rounds, will be given first to the over-80s. Thereafter, the age range will be reduced.
Widening of previous decision
This decision follows the criteria of the Public Health Committee. However, it represents a change from what was previously advocated. This was;
- to prescribe the fourth dose only as an additional dose to the elderly aged 80 or over
- for residents of old people’s homes
- for persons who, because of their age or specific condition, are at greater risk of serious illness
The reason for postponement
At the beginning of May, the Directors-General of Public Health of the Ministry and the Autonomous Communities postponed the fourth dose for people aged 80 and over. This was at the suggestion of the Vaccine Committee. As the Minister of Health indicated on Thursday, the purpose of the postponement is to await the arrival of new vaccines adapted to new variants of the virus.
The Health Committee is therefore in favour of seeing how the epidemiological situation develops and of waiting for the new vaccines based on messenger RNA that have been adapted to protect against the new variants as well. These new vaccines are expected to be ready in October, after the two laboratories developing them, Pfizer and Moderna, have submitted the results of their clinical trials to the European Medicines Agency.
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