Spain’s Health Ministry changed its COVID-19 vaccine guidance on Friday so that anyone under 55 years old who had previously been infected with coronavirus will receive just one vaccine dose.
“It is still unknown how long protective immunity lasts after a natural infection, but studies show that administering a single dose reinforces protective immunity,” says the Health Ministry.
Health officials will not conduct blood tests to determine who had the virus and will instead rely on past diagnoses. People will also need to wait at least six months after catching the virus, whether they had symptomatic or asymptomatic infections, before receiving the jab.
All the COVID-19 vaccines currently available in Spain – Pfizer/BioNtech, AstraZeneca, and Moderna – require two doses. Those older than 55 years of age who had an infection will still get both.
The guidelines are provisional and could change as new evidence arises, the ministry said.
For now, this move could accelerate Spain’s vaccine campaign, as nearly 3.2 million people have already tested positive for the virus.
So far, Spain has administered 3.6 million doses to its population of 47 million – 80% of all that have arrived.
In Spain, daily coronavirus infections continue to fall. On Friday, the ministry reported 8,341 fresh contagions, more than 3,000 fewer than the same day last week.
COVID-19 deaths remain high, but are also declining, with another 329 lives reported lost on Friday.
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