Indian Covid variant forces the Junta to revise its AstraZeneca second dose policy

The AstraZeneca vaccine.
The AstraZeneca vaccine. / SUR
  • People who have already received one dose of the Oxford formula will have the date of their second jab brought forward from the originally planned 12 weeks

The Junta de Andalucía has decided to advance giving the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine from twelve weeks after the first jab to ten weeks.

The Ministry of Health’s decision to bring forward the date of the second appointment follows concern about how the Indian variant is spreading in the UK.

People who have already received an appointment to complete their full vaccination with the AstraZeneca formula will receive an SMS text message or telephone call to change it. The change of appointments will begin with people who are over 60 years old and will continue with those who are younger.

Community transmission of the Indian variant has been recorded in other Spanish regions such as Madrid and Catalonia but, so far, Andalucía has only reported isolated, imported cases. However, there is a concern that the region could suffer from transmission in the community, especially with the start of the summer tourist season.

The AstraZeneca vaccine prevents hospitalisation by 92 per cent, in fully-vaccinated people, according to data published by Public Health England. However, the protection against the Indian variant with a single dose is much lower and the effectiveness only increases after the second jab.