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Spain will not give AstraZeneca vaccine to citizens aged over 55

Latest: Coronavirus in Spain figures (15 Mar)

ALSO READ (15/3/21): Spain halts use of AstraZeneca vaccine for 15 days, following other EU states

#UPDATE on Fri 5 Feb at 19.30h – It has now been confirmed that Spain will only be administering the AstraZeneca vaccine to citizens aged between 18 and 55. [Please see earlier full report below].

Spain’s new health minister, Carolina Darias, said on Wednesday that 1.8 million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford Covid-19 vaccine would be arriving in Spain during February, and that a further 2.7 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine would also be delivered in March. On Thursday, Spain confirmed that it would not be administering the AstraZeneca vaccine to citizens aged over 65. It has since been confirmed that the AstraZeneca vaccine will only be administered to those aged between 18 and 55 in Spain.

Darias also said that she believed Spain would still be able to administer jabs to 80% of citizens aged over 80 by the end of March – an objective set from the outset, and also by the European Union. It had already been decided on Wednesday at a meeting of the Inter-Territorial Council of the National Health System, that only the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be used for jabs administered to those aged over 80. The meeting is held between the central health ministry and Spain’s regional health authorities.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved the Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University on Friday for people over the age of 18, amid criticism the EU bloc is not moving fast enough to vaccinate its population. It is now the third vaccine to be cleared for use in the European Union.

Health Minister Carolina Darias and Miguel Iceta, Minister for Territorial Policy, at a press briefing on 3 February 2021. (Pool Moncloa / Borja Puig de la Bellacasa)

However, France’s top health advisory body had recommended that the AstraZeneca vaccine only be used on people aged under 65, citing lack of sufficient data about its effectiveness in older people. At least six other EU states have also decided to administer this vaccine only to those aged under 65. Germany has set the limit at 65, Poland has restricted the use of the vaccine to citizens aged under 60, with Italy putting the threshold at 55. Spain has now said that it will only be administering the AstraZeneca vaccine to citizens aged between 18 and 55. In the UK the vaccine is already being used among all elderly citizens.

Worldwide, more people have now been vaccinated against Covid-19 than have been infected by the virus, data revealed from a report published by Our World in Data on Wednesday. A total of 104.9 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have now been administered, exceeding the 104.1 million confirmed cases [as of 3 February].

Israel leads the world, having administered enough vaccine doses for 28% of its population, assuming every person needs two doses, according to Our World in Data. Vaccinations in the Palestinian territories have only just begun, however, after Israel delivered a first batch of 2,000 vaccine doses to the Palestinian Authority on Monday.

Meanwhile more than 10 million people have received a first vaccine dose in the UK, according to government figures published on Wednesday. Just under 500,000 have received their second jab, the health ministry said.

Spain has divided the population into 15 groups in order to administer vaccinations, with residents in care homes and their health workers being the first group to receive jabs. Following this, all other health professionals and people with serious disabilities are set to receive the vaccine, followed by citizens over the age of 80 – yet non-resident in care homes. Earlier this week, however, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, president of the Madrid regional government, said that waiters, teacherstaxi drivers and supermarket checkout staff in the region could be prioritised for receiving the vaccine.

Latest figures (up to 4 Feb) show that Spain has now received 2,218,755 doses of Covid-19 vaccines (from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna), and that 1,865,342 jabs have been administered. This is 84.1% of total vaccines received. 586,122 people have now received a second jab. In a separate report, we have published the amount of vaccines received and administered for each region in Spain. Latest: Covid-19 Vaccinations in Spain

You can also click here for further details (in English) of the key points of Spain’s Covid-19 Vaccination Strategy.

Click here for all previous reports on: Coronavirus in Spain

ALSO READ: Spain to keep a register of citizens who refuse Covid-19 vaccine

ALSO READ: Spain’s Health Ministry divides the population into 15 groups for vaccination

ALSO READ: Spain’s ‘Covid-19 Vaccination Strategy’ – all the key points

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