As new coronavirus infections continue to rise in Spain, the country’s health authorities decided on Thursday that only people aged 60 to 69 years old will receive the AstraZeneca jab.
Initially, Spain only approved the jab for people younger than 55 years old. Later, the age range was expanded to people younger than 65.
Due to the age limit, the vaccine was given to around 2 million essential workers like teachers and police officers.
On Wednesday, the Health Ministry took a complete U-turn and announced AstraZeneca would only be used in people older than 60.
That announcement meant the vaccine was only approved for 60 to 65-year-olds, but the Public Health Commission has amplified the upper age limit to 69, several local media outlets reported Thursday.
Those younger than 60 are no longer being given the vaccine out of concerns about rare blood clotting events. Those older than 70 will not receive it due to a lack of efficacy evidence, Spanish health officials say.
Whether the younger essential workers who have received the jab will get a second dose of AstraZeneca, no other jab or another vaccine brand, remains to be decided.
Despite the rollercoaster with AstraZeneca, Spain broke its single-day record for vaccines administered on Wednesday.
In just 24 hours, 453,682 people got a jab, an increase of 48% compared to the same day last week, according to official data.
In total, Spain has vaccinated 14.3% of its population with at least one dose.
The Health Ministry reported nearly 10,000 new infections on Thursday — the highest number in nearly two months.
Spain also saw another 142 lives lost to the disease, 60 more compared to the same day last week.
*Writing by Merve Berker