Spain will administer the new Janssen vaccine to those between the ages of 70 and 79 it has been announced.
Health Minister Carolina Darias said that the country would start taking delivery of the Johnson & Johnson produced vaccine from Wednesday morning.
According to Darias, the country would receive around 300,000 doses of the vaccine during April, followed by a further 1.3 million doses in May and 3.9 million in June.
According to Spain's official COVID-19 vaccination website, the country has so far secured over 20 million doses of the vaccine, along with the Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Oxford/AstraZeneca jabs which are already being administered throughout the country.
The new jab which is considered to be highly effective against new variants could be a game-changer for the country's vaccine program with patients only requiring one dose to be fully protected, compared to the other vaccines which require two.
Authorised on March 11, the Janssen vaccine to date has only been administered to those in the United States.
Johnson & Johnson began the delivery of its vaccine to the EU on Monday after experiencing delays due to production issues, the company said.
As of Monday, Spain has vaccinated over 10 million of its 47 million population with the aim of vaccinating 70% of the country's adults by the end of summer.
With the majority of those in nursing homes and front-line medical staff now fully vaccinated, along with 90% of the over 80s having received their first jab, those in the 70-79 age group are the government's next priority.
With the fourth wave of the virus now imminent and the ever-present threat of new strains entering the country a real possibility, the need to vaccinate Spain's most vulnerable citizens has become the most pressing issue.
It was reported on Friday that the country's infection rate as measured over the preceding 14 days had hit 182 cases per 100,000 people, which was up around 50 over the previous three weeks. However, this is still much lower than the 900 cases experienced during January's peak.
The Ministry also reported that the total number of infections had now reached 3,347,512, with another 149 people losing their lives taking the total number of deaths to 76,328.
Image Credit: Ministerio de Sanidad
March 19, 2021