Spain advises fourth corona vaccine for most vulnerable

by Lorraine Williamson
fourth vaccine

MADRID – After several countries in the world already talked about a second booster shot in December, Spain announced on January 13 it would also offer a fourth vaccine for the most vulnerable people. A remarkable choice, considering the EMA and the WHO are not fully convinced.  

At the end of December, Israel and Chile announced they wanted to offer a fourth vaccine shot for vulnerable people. Then Austria also came up with the same advice with Hungary and Denmark following. 

Spain also starts fourth corona jab for vulnerable people 

The Spanish Ministry of Health announced on Thursday, January 13 it would follow these examples. Only the most vulnerable residents – about 120,000 people in Spain – are eligible for a second booster shot. For the time being, the Spanish Ministry has not yet made any statements as to whether this fourth injection will also be recommended for the entire adult population of Spain. 

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Which Spaniards are eligible for the fourth shot? 

People who are eligible for the fourth corona jab, are cancer patients, people with an immune system disorder, and people who have undergone an organ transplant or are on the waiting list. In the case of Janssen, however, this would be the third jab. Furthermore, people who want an extra booster shot can come and get it five months after the first booster shot. 

EMA and WHO have doubts about booster shot every few months 

Less than a week ago, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicated they are not yet fully convinced of the usefulness of a second booster shot. They consider this “not a sustainable or viable strategy”. According to the organisations, there is still insufficient data to substantiate this approach in the longer term. However, they do indicate this could be the right approach for the most vulnerable people at the moment. 

Despite the EMA and the WHO not supporting this approach 100%, more European countries are opting for this strategy. Spain is making a fourth shot available due to the high number of infections and spread of the Omicron variant. 

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