Update: What under 50s in Spain need to know about getting their Covid-19 vaccine

With the immunisation of Spain’s highest risk age groups almost complete, regional health authorities are now in the process of inoculating their next target group: 40 to 49-year-olds. Here’s everything you need to know if you fall in this age group. 

Update: What under 50s in Spain need to know about getting their Covid-19 vaccine
Spain is currently vaccinating those aged 40-49. Photo: ANDER GILLENEA / AFP

What is the latest on Spain’s vaccine campaign?

According to the Spanish Health Ministry, around 81 percent of people in Spain over 40 years of age have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, although there are a significant number of people in the older age groups that are yet to receive their second dose.

In total 35 percent of the total population of Spain is fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Most regions are currently concentrating on vaccinating those in the 40 to 49 age group. 

What’s the latest vaccine information for those in the 40-49 age group in Spain?

As each region in Spain is in charge of its own vaccine strategy and they are moving at very different rates. Some regions have already given the first dose of the shot to almost all its 40 something-year-olds, while others are just starting on this age group. 

Madrid announced that it would begin to vaccinate those in their 40s on June 9th and hopes that everyone in this age group will have received at least one dose by the end of June. 

The Valencia region on the other hand, opened its vaccination appointments for this group on June 7th, but is still far behind other regions. It has only managed to fully vaccinate 9.8 percent of those in this age group. 

Andalusia is currently concentrating on vaccinating those in their 40s too and has announced that it will open appointments for those in their 30s on July 7th. 

Catalonia opened appointments for this age group on June 7th and since then it has been moving very fast, with 56.7 percent of this age group having already received their first dose. The region has also already opened up appointments for those aged 35-39 and will also start vaccinated those aged 30-34 from June 28th. 

READ ALSO: Spain’s Canary Islands allow residents of all ages to request appointment for Covid-19 vaccine

Galicia, the Basque Country and Navarra also started vaccinating those in their 40s earlier this month. 

In Murcia, more than 35,000 people between the ages of 40 and 49 have a scheduled appointment to receive their Covid vaccine already. 

READ MORE: Catalonia to give Covid vaccine to teenagers and adults under 40 in July 

An agricultural worker receives a J&J jab  in Alcarras, near Lleida, on May 22, 2021. (Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP)


Which vaccine will those aged 40 to 49 receive in Spain?

On June 1st Spain’s Health Ministry approved the use of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) inoculation for people in their forties, following two weeks of negotiations with the regions and Spain’s Public Health Commission.

The Spanish government had initially announced that for people aged 40 to 49 years (born between 1972 and 1981, both those years included), “the vaccines used will be considered based on the availability, the context of the pandemic and the evidence”. 

So finally, it means that the mRNA vaccines – Pzifer, Moderna, as well as Johson & Johnson’s viral vector vaccine will be the ones administered to this age group.

Around 3.7 million Johnson & Johnson vaccines are expected to arrive in Spain over the course of June, compared to 13 million doses of the two-dose Pfizer inoculation. The delivery of Moderna vaccines for June is yet to be confirmed.

Spain began using the J&J vaccine with its 70 to 79 age group and on May 12th extended its use to people aged 50 to 59 and those classified as vulnerable due to health and other conditions (all ages).

READ MORE: Spain approves Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine for under 60s

“Since this vaccine only requires one dose, it has important advantages for its use from the point of view of feasibility and efficiency of health resources for certain groups that are difficult to reach and vaccinate, either because they’re not in the health system (for example, homeless people), or due to the need to send healthcare personnel to private homes, or because they are groups that can’t go the health centre due to other reasons (certain work activities, such as workers at sea, NGO workers who travel to high-risk areas), ” Spanish health ministry sources explained.

“The main priority at this time is to extend vaccination in an agile way by age groups to ensure that all people are vaccinated in the shortest possible time,” representatives of Spain’s Public Health Commission have said. 


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

Member comments

  1. My daughter is a Spanish Resident and picked up her TIE card last week. Here EHIC card has lapsed along with her SIP card. The. Moraira Salud says they cannot renew the SIP Card without the EHIC card, therefore cannot get vaccinated ? What’s the solution ?

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Spain rules out EU’s advice on compulsory Covid-19 vaccination 

Spain’s Health Ministry said Thursday there will be no mandatory vaccination in the country following the European Commission’s advice to Member States to “think about it” and Germany’s announcement that it will make vaccines compulsory in February.

Spain rules out EU's advice on compulsory Covid-19 vaccination 
A Spanish man being vaccinated poses with a custom-made T-shirt showing Spain's chief epidimiologist Fernando Simón striking a 'Dirty Harry/Clint Eastwood' pose over the words "What part of keep a two-metre distance don't you understand?' Photo: José Jordan

Spain’s Health Minister Carolina Darias on Thursday told journalists Covid-19 vaccines will continue to be voluntary in Spain given the “very high awareness of the population” with regard to the benefits of vaccination.

This follows the words of European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday, urging Member States to “think about mandatory vaccination” as more cases of the Omicron variant are detected across Europe. 

READ ALSO: Is Spain proving facts rather than force can convince the unvaccinated?

“I can understand that countries with low vaccine coverage are contemplating this and that Von der Leyen is considering opening up a debate, but in our country the situation is absolutely different,” Darias said at the press conference following her meeting with Spain’s Interterritorial Health Council.

According to the national health minister,  this was also “the general belief” of regional health leaders of each of Spain’s 17 autonomous communities she had just been in discussion with over Christmas Covid measures. 

READ MORE: Spain rules out new restrictions against Omicron variant

Almost 80 percent of Spain’s total population is fully vaccinated against Covid-19, a figure which is around 10 percent higher if looking at those who are eligible for the vaccine (over 12s). 

It has the highest vaccination rate among Europe’s most populous countries.

Germany announced tough new restrictions on Thursday in a bid to contain its fourth wave of Covid-19 aimed largely at the country’s unvaccinated people, with outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel speaking in favour of compulsory vaccinations, which the German parliament is due to vote on soon.

Austria has also already said it will make Covid-19 vaccines compulsory next February, Belgium is also considering it and Greece on Tuesday said it will make vaccination obligatory for those over 60.

But for Spain, strict Covid-19 vaccination rules have never been on the table, having said from the start that getting the Covid-19 jabs was voluntary. 

There’s also a huge legal implication to imposing such a rule which Spanish courts are unlikely to look on favourably. 

Stricter Covid restrictions and the country’s two states of alarm, the first resulting in a full national lockdown from March to May 2020, have both been deemed unconstitutional by Spain’s Constitutional Court. 

READ ALSO: Could Spain lock down its unvaccinated or make Covid vaccines compulsory?

The Covid-19 health pass to access indoor public spaces was also until recently consistently rejected by regional high courts for breaching fundamental rights, although judges have changed their stance favouring this Covid certificate over old Covid-19 restrictions that affect the whole population.

MAP: Which regions in Spain now require a Covid health pass for daily affairs?

“In Spain what we have to do is to continue vaccinating as we have done until now” Darias added. 

“Spaniards understand that vaccines are not only a right, they are an obligation because we protect others with them”.

What Spanish health authorities are still considering is whether to vaccinate their 5 to 11 year olds after the go-ahead from the European Medicines Agency, with regions such as Madrid claiming they will start vaccinating their young children in December despite there being no official confirmation from Spain’s Vaccine Committee yet.

READ MORE: Will Spain soon vaccinate its children under 12?

Spain’s infection rate continues to rise day by day, jumping 17 points up to 234 cases per 100,000 people on Thursday. There are now also five confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in the country, one through community transmission.

Hospital bed occupancy with Covid patients has also risen slightly nationwide to 3.3 percent, as has ICU Covid occupancy which now stands at 8.4 percent, but the Spanish government insists these figures are “almost three times lower” than during previous waves of the coronavirus pandemic.