Spain offers extra booster shot for people who have been vaccinated with Janssen

by Lorraine Williamson
booster shot needed if Janssen jab

As of November 15, nearly 2 million people in Spain who have been vaccinated with Janssen will receive an invitation for a booster shot of Moderna or Pfizer. One does of Janssen appears to provide insufficient protection. For this reason, Spain is starting an extra campaign. 

The Spanish Health Council approved a booster shot on October 26 for people who previously received one dose of the Janssen vaccine. This decision was taken because one dose of Janssen appears to offer a lot less protection against a corona infection. It also seems to provide and a few percentage points less against hospitalisation. 

How much less protection does Janssen offer? 

The degree of protection is so disappointing that the Janssen Council no longer advises when people do want to be vaccinated (for the first time). According to a report recently published by the Ministry of Health, Janssen offers on average 18% less protection (64%) against infection than when someone is vaccinated with Moderna (87%) or Pfizer (77%). Janssen also offers almost 12% less protection (86%) than Pfizer (97%) or Moderna (98%) against hospitalisation. And almost 7% less protection (89%) against death following infection than Moderna (94%) or Pfizer ( 97%). 

ASSSA - health insurance in Spain

Who is eligible for a booster shot in Spain? 

To be precise, 1,970,836 people in Spain are eligible for a second vaccination. The people who are the first to get a second shot are people between the ages of 70 and 79. This will be followed by people between the ages of 40 and 59. However, the second dose will not be of the Janssen vaccine. Therefore, people who decide to get a second shot will receive different dose of one of the RNA vaccines; Pfizer or Moderna. 

Invitation on the mat from 15 November 

The Ministry of Health says it has advised the autonomous region governments to invite older people and people who are known to be more vulnerable first. Therefore, from Monday 15 November, people from the aforementioned target groups will receive a call via the local health services. 

However, some autonomous regions, such as Andalucia, the Basque Country, and Cantabria, have already started invitations for a booster dose. Furthermore, some people over 70 already received it when they came for the annual flu shot. The Ministry says if someone has become infected with Covid-19 after receiving the Janssen vaccine, no booster dose is needed. 

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