By Charlotte Webster-
Spain’s Health Minister Carolina Darias on Thursday announced that the body responsible for advising the ministry on Spain’s Covid vaccination strategy, has said there should be a fourth dose offered to all of Spain’s 47 million inhabitants.
The rollout is expected to begin in the autumn , although it has not been confirmed.
“We’re waiting for the arrival of new vaccines adapted to Covid-19 variants by that date, as stated in the contracts we have signed with the pharmaceutical companies,” Darias said on La Sexta TV channel
Until now, only people over 80, those in care homes and people classified as vulnerable (cancer, HIV, transplant, dialysis patients) have been approved to have a second booster dose in Spain, which is milder than the initial two-shot vaccination given in 2021.
Just a couple of months ago in April 2022, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) considered that at that time it was too early to speak of a fourth dose for all age groups, but they have given the go ahead to high-risk groups.
Around 50 percent of Spain’s population has had one Covid-19 booster dose (third dose), but the rates are lower among younger people.
Spain’s Public Health Commission is in favour of waiting to see how the country’s epidemiological situation evolves and for the new messenger RNA vaccines adapted to the new variants are made available.
These new serums are expected to be ready in October and the two pharmaceutical companies developing them, Pfizer and Moderna, have already submitted the results of their clinical trials to the European Medicines Agency.
Spain- a popular holiday destination- has only been counting Covid-19 infections in people aged 60 and over as well as serious cases, health authorities have recorded an increase in recent weeks.
On Tuesday, they confirmed there were 36,133 new infections over the previous 7 days and 131 Covid deaths. The Spanish government has essentially treated Covid-19 like another endemic disease similar to the flu, deciding to remove quarantines for asymptomatic and mild cases, and after a long wait, relaxed indoor mask wearing rules.
Spanish health authorities has already eased entry rules for third-country tourists such as Britons and Americans on May 21st, lifting the ban on unvaccinated non-EU/Schengen travellers by allowing them to enter Spain with a negative Covid-19 test.