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Covid-19 vaccine for under 60s in Spain: What you need to know

Covid-19 vaccine for under 60s in Spain: What you need to know
Photo: Lluis Gené/AFP
Several Spanish regions have started vaccinating their population in the 50 to 59 age group. Here’s where the rollout has started, how it works and which vaccines they’ll receive. 

What’s the latest?

Although Spanish health authorities are still vaccinating their older age groups, the regions of Andalusia, Navarre and Aragón have begun to administer vaccines to those aged 50 to 59. 

The Balearic Islands, the Basque Country and Catalonia are expected to follow suit next week. 

Spain’s national Health Ministry is yet to publish any official information relating to its strategy for those aged under 55 and is yet to give its final decision on which vaccine this group should get. 

So far, Spain has vaccinated 13.5 percent of its 50 to 59 age group with one dose and 6.3 percent with both doses, although these people have mainly received the vaccine already as they fall into other non-age based priority groups.

So which vaccines are under 60s now receiving?

For now the Spanish regions which have kickstarted their inoculation campaigns for under 60s have been giving them the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Spain’s Public Health Commission is yet to say whether the AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be available to those aged 50 to 59,  so the Moderna and Pfizer ones constitute “the vaccine considered best based on availability, the context of the pandemic and scientific evidence” for this group as things stand.

This unfortunately means that at least a million doses will stay in storage until health experts reach a verdict on the two vaccines which have been highly scrutinized in Spain and abroad since some very rare side effects were discovered.

Currently the AstraZeneca inoculation is only being given to 60-69-year-olds and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to 70 to 79 year olds.

Spanish Health Minister Carolina Darias told journalists on Wednesday that her ministry was studying the possibility of offering the one-dose J&J vaccine to the 50 to 59 age group as well.

Will they call me or should I call them?

Andalusian Health head Jesús Aguirre announced on Tuesday May 4th that people aged 59 were being called up to get the vaccine.

“And then we’ll move onto those who are 58,” Aguirre told journalists.  

Aragón is currently vaccinating 58 and 59 year olds while Navare has started with all 55 to 59 year olds.

As of Wednesday May 5th, people in Andalusia aged 57 to 59 can also call to book an appointment for the vaccine. 

You can register for the vaccine in Andalusia here and get more detailed information about the region’s vaccine campaign here as well. 

A healthcare worker administers vaccines in Ronda (Andalusia).Photo: JORGE GUERRERO/AFP

Health workers in the Balearics are now calling up those aged 50 to 59 to book their vaccination appointments. 

If you live in one of the other regions which has started vaccinating under 60s or will do soon, you can find the specific information you need as a foreigner in Spain looking to get Covid vaccine in the article below. 

https://www.thelocal.es/20210416/region-by-region-what-foreigners-in-spain-should-do-to-register-for-the-vaccine/

Regional health authorities use different approaches, Aragón for example wants some of their age groups to book an appointment whereas other regions prefer for you to wait for their call, so the best thing to do is call up or ask in person at your local health centre what it is you should do.

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What if I’m 50 to 59 and live in another region of Spain?

The speed of the vaccine rollout varies slightly between regions but for the most part Spain’s 17 autonomous communities are now vaccinating their over 70s with the second dose and giving their over 60s the first one. 

On a national level, the objective in May is primarily to vaccinate with at least one dose all over 60s by the end of the month, which number 12 million people.

Regional health authorities are responsible for their own vaccine strategies so there may be some that prioritise giving second doses to higher-risk priority groups over giving those under 60 the first dose. 

Although there is no guarantee that under 60s across Spain will start receiving their first dose in May, the country is set to receive 1.7 million vaccine doses every week of this month, which increases the chances of this part of the campaign starting everywhere by the end of May or start of June. 

A swift decision by Spain’s Public Health Commission on its allocation of the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccine will help clarify this.

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