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Over 80s to be offered fourth Covid vaccine dose in September

Spain’s health minister hopes Hipra jab will be approved for administration soon

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14 July 2022 10:27 AM

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ACN | Barcelona

People over the age of 80 are expected to be offered a second Covid-19 booster vaccine – the fourth dose overall – by the second half of September, as Spain’s health minister Carolina Darias explained on Catalan radio station RAC1 on Thursday morning.

Darias said that if the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approves new vaccines adapted to the omicron variant soon, then the doses would be ready to be delivered in the first half of September and ready to be given to people by the latter half of the month. 

First it will be offered to the over 80s, before then being offered to care home residents and those over 60, who could receive the dose before the end of the year.

One of the vaccines that could be given in addition to Pfizer and Moderna would be the Catalan-produced Hipra jab if it gets authorization from the EMA

Preliminary results of the first phase of a clinical trial of the Hipra vaccine involving 700 people in 10 different Spanish hospitals showed that the jab generates more antibodies than other vaccines already approved, such as Pfizer's shot against coronavirus. The vaccine, however, is only used as a booster shot. 

The Socialist minister explained that epidemiological reports show that the peak of cases in this latest wave is about to arrive and that in Catalonia and Madrid the decline has already begun. 

Despite the increase in cases, she has admitted that the severity is lower than in other waves, thanks mainly to the immunity brought about by vaccines and previous infections. 

The Catalan health minister, Josep Maria Argimon, told Catalunya Ràdio on Monday that the seventh wave was beginning to peak and that health authorities believed the number of new daily Covid cases will plateau for a few days before it begins to drop.

But despite the prevalence of Covid, Argimon does not think restrictions are necessary and insisted that going about life with the virus around us "should be normalized."

According to him, these would only be considered if there were 150 or more Covid patients in ICUs across Catalonia – currently, there are only 51.

One of the measures to combat the latest wave and to reduce pressure on health workers was to introduce automatic 5-day sick leaves from work, obtainable through the Catalan health department's online platform La Meva Salut

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  • Spain's health minister Carolina Darias gives a press conference (by Spanish department of health)

  • Spain's health minister Carolina Darias gives a press conference (by Spanish department of health)

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