Spain will have its first batch of three million Covid-19 vaccine doses ready for December, said health minister Salvador Illa on Monday.
THE minister explained that only 1.5 million people across Spain will be able to be vaccinated as two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine are needed per person. At-risk people and those working with vulnerable groups will be the first to receive the vaccine. The University of Oxford and AstraZeneca will provide the first three million doses – around 10 per cent of the 30 million vaccines the European Union will buy by December, provided the final stages of the clinical trials are successful.
Yet, according to Spain’s health minister Illa, the EU will also buy shots from seven to nine other vaccine developers, and from January there will be a “regular supply” of vaccines made by AstraZeneca and other firms.
In late August, the Spanish Medicine Agency authorised the first Phase 2 Covid-19 vaccine clinical trial to take place in Spain. Illa explained that Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, owned by Johnson & Johnson, would test the second phase of a potential vaccine, Ad26.COV2-S, in Spain, Belgium, and Germany. This stage, which, implies human testing, saw 190 people receive doses in three Spanish hospitals located in Madrid and Santander.
“If everything goes well and safety is guaranteed, we are hoping to have the first doses by the end of December,” said Illa. The experimental vaccine from Oxford University has shown promising results until now, but its safety and efficiency is yet to be demonstrated. The prototype is being tested on more than 20,000 volunteers in the United Kingdom, Brazil and South Africa.”
There are already some 173 experimental vaccines against the coronavirus being developed across the globe, and 31 of them are being tested in humans, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). The EU has announced conversations and preliminary deals with five developers of experimental vaccines: British company AstraZeneca, Curevac from Germany, the US firms Johnson & Johnson and Moderna, and the alliance formed by French company Sanofi and British pharmaceutical firm GSK.