The group between 70 and 79 years will receive the first single-dose Janssen vaccines

New vaccine to arrive in Spain on Wednesday and will join those of Pfizer and Moderna for this age group

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One vial of Janssen's vaccine

MadridOn Wednesday, the first 300,000 doses of Janssen, the new vaccine in a portfolio already containing Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca, will arrive in Spain. The novelty of this vaccine lies in the fact that a single dose is sufficient for immunisation. The Spanish Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, has announced this Monday morning from the airport of Gran Canaria that the first doses would be allotted to those aged between 70 and 79, who are currently receiving the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, Efe informs.

In addition, Pfizer has sent 1.2 million doses that the minister believes will be key to give a final boost to the administration of the second dose for the over 80s, as 90% have already received the first: "I am convinced that this week the second dose of the over 80 years will get a boost, especially because it is now 21 days after the first was administered.

She did not want to refer, however, to what solution will be given to those under 60 who have already received the first dose of AstraZeneca: "Calm, there is time. We will make the best decision known for these cases".

The Spanish government thus maintains the planned vaccination schedule for this quarter and Darias has reiterated that they expect the arrival of 38 million doses from different manufacturers, almost four times as many as in the first quarter. This is provided that the pharmaceutical companies comply with the agreements. Pfizer, in particular, has pledged to send 3.8 million doses to Spain in April alone, 1.2 million each week.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) gave Janssen the green light on 11 March. Most European countries trust the acceleration of the vaccination campaign to this pharmaceutical company, because it is enough with a single dose for immunisation and it is also easier to transport than Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. But, on the other hand, it has also raised some possible side effects similar to those of AstraZeneca. Since last week the EMA has been studying whether there is a possible link between four cases of severe thrombosis and the Janssen vaccine. One case detected in a clinical trial and three more in the United States, one of which was fatal.

The vaccination schedule is maintained

The minister has insisted that all this will allow an "acceleration in the pace of vaccination" and maintain the goal of vaccinating 70% of the population "before the end of August", as already promised by the Spanish president, Pedro Sanchez, last week noting that these were the "most prudent and conservative" calculations. In fact, the change with AstraZeneca, according to the Ministry of Health, does not alter the plans. "The vaccines are safe, they are effective and save lives. We can see this with facts that are in plain sight: for example, in nursing home for the elderly, where the lethality has dropped to practically the same [rate] of people who are not in care homes, or also with other groups that are vaccinated, such as front-line health workes", she remarked.