UPDATE: Can I request a second dose in Spain if I’ve had Covid-19?

man gets Covid vaccine in spain
The only region to officially announce second doses for people under 65 who have recovered from Covid-19 is Madrid. Photo: LLUIS GENE / AFP
Some countries require international arrivals to have had two Covid vaccines even if they’ve had Covid, whereas Spain considers people to be fully immunised if they’ve recovered from the disease and had one shot. Here's what Spain's Health Ministry has said about people in this situation.

If you’re a resident in Spain and you’ve had Covid-19, you’ve probably only been given one Covid-19 vaccine dose. 

That’s because Spanish health authorities, as is the case across the EU, consider that having recovered from the coronavirus and having one vaccine dose is sufficient immunity to prevent re-infection. 

However, other countries such as the UK and United States do not consider this scenario to be equivalent to full immunity, and therefore apply travel restrictions that don’t exist for those who had two vaccine doses (with the exception of the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine). 


Covid-19 vaccines are only administered by public health authorities in Spain, with each region setting its own rules around a common national framework. 

So can you get a second Covid-19 vaccine after recovering from Covid-19, even though this isn’t part of the official vaccination plan?

Yes, Spain’s national Health Ministry and regional health departments are now all fully aware of the limbo many travellers have found themselves in over the past months and have stated that those who need the second dose to travel “must contact their autonomous community to be inoculated”. 

“There are provisions, both on the part of the ministry and the autonomous communities, to avoid this type of situation,” a Spanish health ministry source is quoted as saying in several Spanish news websites about the problems some travellers have been facing. 

The communities “can and are doing it for the people who claim it,” added the same sources.

Up until now, Madrid was the only region to officially announce that it offers this second dose to the Covid recovered, whereas in other regions it was often up to the individual health centre to decide whether they’d give a second dose to people requesting it. 

That’s largely because the general consensus was and is that people under 65 who had Covid-19 have to wait for six months before receiving their first and only vaccine, either Pfizer or Moderna. Those above that age can get two shots.

“I am giving a second dose only with the justification and requirement of the destination country,” a nurse in Zaragoza told El Periódico de Aragón in early November.

Readers have previously contacted The Local Spain to express how they had not been able to get a second dose in different regions because they’d had Covid and thus weren’t able to travel to the UK without having to quarantine. 

Now it should no longer be a matter of having to argue one’s case and at most provide proof of travel abroad in order to be able to get that second vaccine dose at your local health centre or vaccination point.

In some regions it will possible to get the shot without booking an appointment first. 


Member comments

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.