Spain’s health commission (La Comisión de Salud Pública) approved on Tuesday a third vaccine dose for those who are considered severely immunosuppressed and as such are likely to have less protection from the standard vaccination dosage.
In a statement, the commission said that the booster shot would be administered 28 days after the previous jab and preferably with the same brand of vaccine used. However, it did not clarify exactly how many people would receive the third dose.
Instead, the authority said that the most likely candidates to receive the booster would be those who had previously received an organ transplant, bone marrow transplant recipients and those receiving anti-CD20 drugs.
These are the initial groups which the Ministry of Health with recommendations from a group of government advises, along with the EMA and the ECDC, decided are best suited to receive the booster vaccine.
These groups are considered especially vulnerable even after receiving the two Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna jabs. They would still be at high risk of serious illness or death from Covid-19 due to their much weakened immune system which may fail to react sufficiently to the standard dosage which offers full protection to the rest of the population.
This could potentially mean that around 100,000 people or more in Spain could receive the third jab.
The commission said that at this time there was no evidence or data to suggest that administering a third dose to the general population would be required.
It comes after earlier this month the EMA (European Medicines Agency) said that it was evaluating a potential booster vaccine that could be given after six months of receiving the second dose.
Israel recently announced that it would be vaccinating the over 50s with a boost style jab, however, there is still no scientific evidence to suggest that it is necessary for those with a healthy immune system.
According to the latest data from Spain’s Ministry of Health on Tuesday, 72.5 per cent of the population have now been fully vaccinated with 77.7 per cent of citizens having received at least one dose.
Among the younger population of 12 to 19-year-olds, over 45 per cent have now been fully vaccinated.
The government’s target of having 70 per cent of the population fully vaccinated by the end of August was achieved, however, due to the recent discovery and spread of the Delta variant, it is thought that 90 per cent is a more realistic figure in order to achieve herd immunity.
However, to achieve this the EMA would need to give the green light for the vaccination of those under the age of 12 who account for around 11 per cent of the Spanish population.
Image Credit: Pool Moncloa