Spain’s Ministry of Health announced on Friday that those under the age of 55 and who have had Covid-19, will receive only one vaccine dose, which will be administered six months after the initial infection.
However, those under the age of 55 and who get infected with the virus even after they have received the first vaccine, will still be eligible to receive the second dose.
As is the case with the under 55s, anyone infected with the Covid, who has only received one dose, will be vaccinated with the second, once fully recovered.
The Health Ministry continues to recommend that those over 55, receive two doses of the vaccine inline with the current vaccination schedule.
It comes as the country’s vaccination program continues to gather pace with the over 60s, which comprises around 12 million people, set to receive their first vaccine.
Those between 70 and 70 will be next to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna jabs next, followed by those between 60-69, then those under 60 with conditions placing them in the high-risk category. This will then be followed by those between 56 and 59.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine will be given to frontline workers including police officers and firefighters, followed by those between the ages of 45 and 55.
Spain has so far ruled out giving the AstraZeneca jab to anyone over the age of 55, stating that there was insufficient evidence to suggest that it was effective in older patients.
They have also decided not to vaccinate anyone with pre-existing conditions including cancer and neurological diseases with the vaccine as these groups were not included in clinical trials.
Those over the age of 60 are considered to be the highest priority in terms of vaccination with the Health Ministry stating that nearly 95% of all Covid victims to date, were over this age.
Recent figures published by the Ministry of Health show that as of Tuesday, March 2, a total of 3,829,465 vaccine doses had been administered through the autonomous regions.
Over the next three months, another three vaccines from Janssen, NovaVax and CureVax could be available to boost the country’s vaccine capacity, if approved by the EU.
The Janssen vaccine (Ad26.COV2-S) which could be given the green light as soon as March 8, is of major interest given that it only requires one dose which will enable the country to speed up the vaccination rollout considerably.
Another advantage of the vaccine is that it can last for three months at conventional cooler temperatures, without the need for freezing, and for up to two years below 0ºC.
Spain is set to receive around 40 million doses of the vaccine out of the 400 million procured by the EU.
It comes as the Health Ministry published its latest figures on Monday showing that 3,204,531 cases had now been diagnosed, with a total of 69,609 fatalities.
The 14-day cumulative incidence rate now stands at 175.63 per 100,000 inhabitants, the lowest it has been since August 2020.
However, Fernando Simón, the director of the Health Ministry’s Coordination Center for Health Alerts (CCAES) said that despite things “moving in the right direction” and falling “very fast”, the downward trend was beginning to slow.
Image Credit: Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la Bellacasa