MADRID – The Spanish Public Health Commission agrees to raise the age for AstraZeneca vaccination to 65 years. They made the decision following the results of a conference held last weekend.
If the AstraZeneca vaccine is administered to citizens between the ages of 18 and 65 in Spain, Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines will remain reserved for those over 65 and at risk. This has been the request of various communities such as Catalonia, Madrid and Andalucia for weeks.
AstraZeneca vaccinations resume
The committee, with delegates from Public Health and public health officials from all sub-regions, also decided to resume vaccinating with the AstraZeneca vaccine on Wednesday. This had been suspended for a week after a number of 55- to 65-year-olds suffered from thrombosis. This group, which is more at risk than the 40 to 55 age group and has been in limbo recently, will now be prioritised in the vaccination plan. Age remains a determining risk factor concerning hospitalisation and death. It remains a primary criterion in the vaccination plan.
Occupational groups no longer have priority
This brings an end to the earlier strategy giving priority to professional groups such as teachers, police officers and firemen. This led to 30-year-old professionals receiving the vaccine, while 60-year-olds, who are much more at risk, were not.
This decision will be discussed in the Inter-territorial Health Council on Monday. It is likely part of the council will call for the age limits for administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine to be loosened, although this issue will be deferred to a future meeting.
Spain will eventually resume vaccination without excluding potential risk groups – especially women under 55 – from the AstraZeneca vaccine. The Ministry of Health agrees with the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) assessment that the vaccine is ‘safe and effective’. The research will continue.