The Junta de Andalucía is putting pressure on the government to allow elderly people in residential homes to be given a fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine, and maybe even those over the age of 70 who live in their homes.
The regional Health Minister, Jesús Aguirre, says he has asked his counterpart in the Spanish government, Carolina Darias, for permission to do this and is waiting for a response. He says that if she agrees, the fourth dose could start to be administered the very next day because there are plenty of vaccines in stock.
Aguirre is concerned because cases of Covid-19 are increasing among people over the age of 80 because more than six months have passed since they had their third dose and their immunity to the virus is reducing. At present, a fourth dose is only given to people whose immune systems are depressed, cancer patients and people with Down’s Syndrome who are over the age of 40.
He also says that it will be possible to vaccinate all elderly people in residential homes within a week. He explains that it is Andalucía that has opened this debate, and that he hopes to receive a positive response from Madrid.
So far 4.3 million people in Andalucía have had a third dose of the Covid vaccine, but it is proving difficult to encourage others to have the jab. About 270,000 people in the region have had no doses whatsoever, mainly in the 30 to 50 age group, which at the moment has the highest accumulated incidence of positive cases of the virus and the highest number of people in hospital.