Spain's Ministry of Health is proposing to postpone the second dose of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for up to eight weeks among people under 80 years of age to increase the number of people vaccinated - even if the protection is not complete. This would be in line with the strategy being used in other countries such as Israel and the UK.
The department, headed by Carolina Darias, has proposed this radical change in vaccination strategy in a document sent to the Public Health Commission to be debated at an extraordinary meeting this Tuesday. This will take place on the same day that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) issues its opinion on the safety of the Janssen vaccine after rare episodes of blood clots in young women in the United States.
If the proposal gets the go-ahead, the second dose of the two formulas would be administered after 56 days. At the moment, the second Pfizer jab is 21 days after the first and Moderna's 28 days.
The unexpected move from the Ministry of Health comes after Darias herself rejected the request of some regions last week to extend the time between first and second jabs of the Pifzer and Moderna vaccines for up to 42 days, a practice that already has the approval of the European Medicines Agency.
At the time she said, "The most vulnerable groups should have maximum protection."
But according to the new Ministry of Health proposal, "an extended interval between doses will result in higher levels of antibodies and a longer period of protection."