Several key countries do not recognise Spain’s vaccination plan to administer only a single dose of a vaccine to those people who have beaten the infection. / SALVADOR SALAS

Spain to give extra jabs people who have recovered from Covid and need to travel abroad

The Ministry of Health has now authorised an extra jab for people who have overcome the disease but have only had the one dose of a coronavirus vaccine that is generally required, following recovery from the disease, in Spain

PILAR MARTÍNEZ

Countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada require travellers who have overcome Covid-19 to have a full vaccination schedule of one of the approved coronavirus vaccines. None of them recognise the immunity gained after recovering from the disease and, therefore, do not recognise the vaccination plan of Spain to administer a single dose to those who have beaten the infection, except in the case of Janssen, whose complete schedule is a single dose.

The rule is clear to travel to these countries: either the complete guideline must be administered, or quarantine will be necessary upon arrival at the destination, as is the case of the United Kingdom, or passengers will simply not being allowed to enter the country.

Given this limitation that prevented, for example, many Spanish tourism entrepreneurs to travel to London to the World Travel Market (WTM), one of the three major international events in this sector, due to having only having had one dose after overcoming the virus, the Ministry of Health has announced that those who need the complete guideline for travel reasons may make an appointment at their health centre or go to one of the vaccination points to receive the second dose, with proof that they are going to travel.

This decision was adopted at the last meeting of the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System between the national Ministry of Health and the regions.

End of travel limitations

Afterwards, the Junta de Andalucía’s Minister of Health, Jesús Aguirre, said “we will administer the second dose of a vaccine against Covid to people who have had the disease and that, for travel reasons, a second dose is required to complete the schedule. These people will get a second dose of a messenger RNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna). This decision ends the limitations of people in Spain travelling to destinations that have an entry condition of having the complete guideline. We are not just talking about holidays, but destinations with which important commercial and business contacts need to be maintained.” The Junta has said it will accept a flight, ship or train reservation or work contract as proof of the trip.

Delta variant

In August Spain's Ministry of Health shortened the schedule for the vaccination of those who had recovered from Covid-19, which initially was six months (from the onset of symptoms or the date of diagnosis of the infection) but since then has been reduced to four or eight weeks. The reason for that change was the circulation of the Delta variant, in order to give additional protection.