Fernando Simón, director of the Centre for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies / EFE

Top Covid expert in Spain sees no need for a third dose "in general" and says "give them to the third world"

Fernando Simón also claimed "in the first wave 2.3 million people were infected with coronavirus, not 226,000" and also gave his explanations for what triggered the different waves

ÁLVARO SOTO

The director of Spain's Centre for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies (CCAES), Fernando Simón, has said this Tuesday (2 November) that during the first wave of the pandemic, in the spring of last year, he believes that Spain registered "2.3 million infections" of Covid -19, and "not 226,000", as the official statistics of the Ministry of Health still show today.

Simón has admitted that at the time the health system "only detected one in ten cases" due to the inability to perform diagnostic tests due to the lack of tests. "Germany stopped its exports", and when the country allowed the distribution of these products again, "we began to find eight out of ten cases were positive," said the health officer speaking at an event in Zaragoza.

First wave

Simón explained that the first wave, which arrived in Spain from Italy, was the product of three factors: “Three thousand Spaniards, mostly workers, who participated in the Milan Fashion Week, from 18 to 24 February, followed by the Erasmus students returning home at the end of the same month, and 3,000 Italians who visited the Arco de Madrid fair from 26 February to 1 March.

Foreign tourists not to blame

The chief medical officer also suggested that the second wave came about not because of foreign tourists in the summer of 2020, but because when the Spain’s lockdown restrictions were lifted, "the infected moved throughout the country"; the third, after Christmas, and the fourth were "a small problem" and the fifth wave began with end-of-year trips by the younger generation.

'Booster' doses of vaccines

In addition, the director of the CCAES said that he believe that a third dose of a coronavirus vaccine is not necessary "in general" because "it seems that immunity lasts for years" and has instead advocated "giving them to third world countries."

He also expressed his doubts about the giving the vaccine to those under 12 years of age, a group that "is very little affected by the disease."