The Spanish health authorities cleared the way on Wednesday for all Spanish residents over the age of 50 to receive a booster dose of the coronavirus vaccine if they so wish.
According to the main Spanish newspapers, the group of experts on vaccines (Ponencia de Vacunas), which advises the Ministry of Health and regional governments (comunidades autonomas), endorsed on Wednesday the administration of a third jab for people aged 50 to 59.
The third shot will be given six months after the last injection.
Those who are vaccinated with a full course (two doses) of the AstraZeneca vaccine - a group that includes a good part of the essential workers under 60 years of age who were vaccinated last spring - will also be eligible for the third dose.
Minister of Health Carolina Darias explained that the decision still has to be confirmed on Thursday by the Public Health Commission (Comision de Salud Publica), which is made up of the general directors of this area.
Until now, in Spain the third dose was approved for people over 60 years of age, health services personnel and people with pathologies that made them more vulnerable to the disease caused by the Covid-19 virus.
40 to 49-year-olds
With this decision, Spain will partially apply the recommendation of the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC), which recommended the administration of a third shot for people over 40 years old on 24 November.
Several countries, including Germany, France, the United States and the United Kingdom, are already applying this recommendation, some of them for their entire adult population.
Sources from the Ministry of Health have been admitting privately that in the coming weeks the Spanish authorities will also make the decision to inject the third dose among the population between 40 and 49 years old.