Spain declines delaying second Covid dose

Decision seen as "bad news" by top health official in Catalonia

An AstraZeneca jab ready to be administered (by Albert Cadanet)
An AstraZeneca jab ready to be administered (by Albert Cadanet) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

April 20, 2021 07:45 PM

The Spanish government has declined to delay the second dose of the coronavirus vaccine as a means to prioritize reaching more people with the first jab, as confirmed by Catalan officials on Tuesday afternoon.

"It’s bad news for the vaccination campaign," said Josep Maria Argimon, Catalonia’s Public Health secretary, after unveiling the decision in his daily press conference.

"Neighboring countries such as the UK, Canada, Italy, France, Germany, Finland or Denmark have opted for this strategy," said Argimon, noting that some of these countries made such decisions with better epidemiological indicators than Spain.   

Last January, the United Kingdom led the way in postponing second jabs up to 12 weeks in a push to inoculate as many people as possible with one dose. 

Despite the WHO’s initial reluctance, Oxford researchers later found out that vaccines remained 76% effective at preventing symptomatic Covid infections for three months after the first dose.