Spain’s Public Health will discuss administering the third Covid ‘booster’ vaccine to those aged between 50 and 59 years.
The Public Health Commission will address the proposal, made by the Xunta de Galicia, at its next meeting, just as the administration of the third dose to residents aged 60 and over is about to end in some Spanish communities, Galicia being one of them.
Speaking in Madrid at an informative breakfast, the Galician Minister of Health, Julio García Comesaña said he does not foresee what the result will be at the meeting on Monday between the general directors of Public Health of the Ministry and the communities, however, he did say that a discussion will be had in regards to “decreasing the age of people who can already take the third dose.”
He also stated that the Xunta is already "preparing" to start calling people between the ages of 50 to 59 years, in view of the fact that they will finish vaccinating those over the age of 60 earlier than expected. Firstly though, there must be an official decision made between all communities, which must come from the Public Health Commission, at the proposal of the Vaccine Committee.
"We are going to propose that once the 60-year-old group is finished we have to continue below. Continue advancing since there are mass vaccination centres" safeguarded García Comesaña, who also declared that there are "sufficient doses".
The Galician Minister of Health also assured that “the objective that the Interterritorial Health Council set a few weeks ago to have everyone over 60 vaccinated before Christmas will be fulfilled even earlier than planned”.
"In our case, fortunately, we are going to comply, we are doing repechage work, calling people who for various reasons have not come to get the third dose pending further progress."
The second booster vaccine for those in the 50 to 59 age group and who received the single-dose Janssen jab, started weeks ago, but those in this age group who were given the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine will have to wait for a decision to be made by the Public Health Commission, in order to receive their booster.
However, with the speed at which the Spanish communities are currently administering the third ‘booster’ doses, this entire age group should be vaccinated by the end of the year.
This will also coincide with the vaccination of children aged between 5 and 11 years, who will start to receive their vaccinations on Wednesday, December 15, after a total of 1.3 million doses arrived in Spain today. The older of this age group will be given their vaccine first.
At this present time, the health authorities cannot consider moving forward from the vaccination of the 50 to 59-year-old group, this is because up until now it has been clearly stated that there should be six months between the second and third doses.
This period is a "limiting factor”, said García Comesaña, although he did recall that there are already indications that this timescale could be shortened to enable the third dose to be administered from at three months. This was pointed out by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), just a few days ago.
"We are conditioned by the six months that now is a limiting possibility, but the information is already arriving that it could drop to three," indicated the Minister.
As of Saturday, December 11, 77,827,910 vaccines have been administered and 37,702,839 people have received full protection from either the double-dose vaccines or the single-dose Janssen vaccine.
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