Spain's health minister, Carolina Darias. | Efe (Manuel Bruque)


Spain's health minister, Carolina Darias, confirmed on Thursday that the public health commission has given the go-ahead for the fourth dose of coronavirus vaccine "for the entire population".

Darias added that the timing of this fourth has yet to be decided, but indications are that it will become available in the autumn.

Last week, the commission recommended a fourth dose - a second booster dose - for the most vulnerable population, such as care home residents. But it has now been decided to offer it generally and when there will be new vaccines adapted to variants. The autumn is likely as this is when new vaccines are expected "under contracts that we have signed via the European Union with pharmaceutical companies".

The suitability of extending this second booster jab to the entire population has been in doubt. In May, the World Health Organization said that, for the moment, it was in favour of only giving the fourth dose to the elderly and to people with weakened immunity.