Spain’s Public Health Commission, which includes representatives from the regional governments and the Ministry of Health, agreed on Tuesday that a third dose of vaccine against Covid-19 could be gvien to over 70s from 25 October. The vaccine given will be Pfizer or Moderna and six months must have passed since patients received their second dose.
The next group to be called will be the over 65s, according to sources who spoke to Europa Press. In the voting there were 12 votes in favour, five abstentions and two against (Madrid and Galicia).
The vaccine will be given at the same time as the annual flu jab, as some regions, Andalucia and Castilla-La Mancha, had requested.
Since 16 September third jabs have been approved, but only for certain risk groups, such as the immuno supressed and elderly residents in care homes. Gandia Health Department tweeted that they had begun giving thrid doses to risk category patients on Tuesday with 800 people booked for this week and they hoped to vaccinate 1,300 patients who are at risk.
The EMA (European Medicines Agency) gave the green light to booster jabs on Tuesday, although the final decision has been left to each country. It was also concluded that third doses of Pfizer and Moderna could be given to those aged 12 or over with seriously debilitated immune systems.
The World Health Organisation, meanwhile, strongly opposes the widespread rollout of booster shots to healthy people and has asked wealthier countries to hold back on giving third doses to their citizens but instead to help poorer countries who have yet to give first and second jabs. However, as Spain prepares to roll out the third jabs to its elderly population, the Health Minister, Carolina Darias, highlighted on Tuesday that “nine out of every 10 doses of Covid-19 vaccine to arrive in Latin America come from Spain“. She also said that Spain was the seventh country in the world in terms of vaccine donations and third in the EU (European Union).
Put another way, Darias said that at the Iberoamerican Summit held in Andorra in April, Spain’s president, Pedro Sánchez, had promised 7.5 million doses of vaccine for South America before the end of the year. Today that figure stands at more than 9 million doses, she said.