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VACCINE

Covid-19 vaccines for people in Spain in their 20s: What you need to know

As Spain’s vaccination campaign advances at a faster pace than ever, there are developments regarding when people aged 20 to 29 will get vaccinated in the different regions, which Covid vaccine they will likely receive and more. 

covid vaccine spain 20 to 29
At the current rate, late July or August is the most likely start date for vaccinations for twenty-somethings in Spain. Photo: Come Sittler/AFP

On June 15th, Spain’s national and regional health authorities approved the inclusion of three more age groups under 40 years in the country’s vaccine strategy, among them 20 to 29 year olds.

This is a milestone for Spain’s vaccination rollout as it means younger adults now have their Covid-19 jab in sight after six months of inoculations understandably focused on immunising the country’s oldest and those with pre-existing health conditions, as they are the most likely to fall seriously ill with Covid-19. 

The news also comes at a time when Spanish authorities are warning young people to take extra precautions as the appearance of the Delta strain which originated in India and which is expanding in Spain is expected to affect those who haven’t received a single dose yet. 

According to Spain’s National Statistics Institute, there are approximately 4.9 million people in Spain between the ages of 20 and 29.

When will people in their twenties get vaccinated in Spain?

At the current rate, late July or August is the most likely start date for vaccinations for twenty-somethings across Spain’s 17 regions.

In theory, the regions will start vaccinating 39 to 30 year olds first, then move onto 29 to 20 year olds and finally 19 to 12 year olds, working from oldest to youngest year by year.

However, Galicia has announced it will open up vaccine appointments for all ages from July 1st, which would therefore mean those aged 20 to 29 can be immunised sooner in the northwestern region. 

Health authorities in Catalonia also announced that they plan to vaccinate their population between the ages of 16 and 39 in July, which would mean that twenty-somethings in Barcelona and the Catalan region could get vaccinated soon.

As a recent report in Spanish medical publication Redacción Médica suggests, the national vaccination plan is now being somewhat overlooked by regional authorities that have already started vaccinating people in their thirties before the official announcement by the national health ministry. 

This could mean that in places such as the Canary Islands where people in their thirties are already being vaccinated or will be during late June, people in their late twenties may get their vaccine in mid-July. 

READ ALSO:

spain vaccine 20 to 29Photo: THOMAS LOHNES / AFP

Which vaccines will twenty-somethings receive in Spain?

Spain’s Public Health Commission is yet to announce which vaccines will be approved for use in the under 40 age groups.

The most likely choices will be the Messenger ARN two-dose Pfizer and Moderna inoculations, the vaccines some regions have begun vaccinating thirty-somethings with as well. 

Many people in their thirties and twenties may be currently hoping that Spanish health authorities approve the use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson inoculation for their age group, just as Spain’s Health Ministry did for 40 to 49-year olds on June 1st

Unfortunately, the latest reports point to the fact that Spain is receiving far fewer J&J vaccines than anticipated due to serious delivery delays (5.5 million doses expected this quarter, 1.2 million received so far).

As a result of these hold-ups, health workers have decided to give the first dose of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to people in their 40s and 50s in order to not keep them waiting, meaning that only 700,000 J&J of the 1.2 million available have been used. 

We will keep you updated on further vaccine developments relating to people in their twenties in Spain, as well as other age groups, so stay tuned.

If you want to find out more about Spain’s Covid-19 vaccination campaign, vaccination certificates, getting an appointment and more, check our The Local Spain’s Covid-19 vaccine section here.

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COVID-19

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.

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