Spain’s Minister of Health Carolina Darias has announced that the entire population is to receive a fourth dose of the Covid vaccine.
In an interview with La Sexta, Darias (pictured) said that "There will be a fourth dose for the entire population, what remains to be decided is when."
Although a timeline for the administration of the fourth jab has not yet been decided, dates close to autumn are being considered, as this is when the new vaccines adapted to the Omicron’s BA.4 and BA.5 variants are expected to arrive in Spain.
Until now the Health Ministry had only authorised the fourth dose to be given 5 months after the third vaccine, to people with immunosuppression, aged above 80 years of age and living in nursing homes.
At the beginning of May, the general directors of Public Health of the Ministry and the autonomous communities postponed the fourth vaccine for the elderly.
This means that the new additional dose, will for now, only be administered to those who have a weakened immune system due to suffering from a disease. This is because after receiving all three doses, these people do not achieve the same level of protection against Covid-19 that healthy people do.
The Public Health Commission is in favour of monitoring the country’s epidemiological situation as it evolves and waiting for the manufacturers to adapt the current vaccines to protect against new variants.
Two new vaccines are expected to be ready in October once Pfizer and Modern have submitted the results of their clinical trials to the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
Image Credit: Ministerio de Sanidad