Spain: Major vaccine update for expats living overseas – FCDO issues warning

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Spain is a popular destination for UK expats, with an estimated 360,000 Britons living in the country according to official Spanish figures. However, while the UK vaccine roll-out is well underway, Britons living abroad may be confused about how they can access their dose.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issues advice for Britons in foreign countries, both travelling and residing.

Following an increase in the ongoing vaccination effort in Spain, the FCDO updates its travel advice page with information for expats hoping to receive their jab.

It explains any British expats in living in Spain currently should aim to be vaccinated by the Spanish healthcare system.

“Wherever possible British nationals should aim to be vaccinated in the country where they live,” states the FCDO.

“Spain operates its health system regionally. You should refer to your regional health authority for information regarding the vaccination plan in your area.”

For those concerned about the specific vaccine they receive, the FCDO advises Britons to check the Spanish Government website for further information on the country’s vaccination strategy.

“The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the UK authority responsible for assessing the safety, quality and efficacy of vaccines,” continues the FCDO.

“It has authorised the Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines for temporary supply and use in the UK.

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“British nationals living overseas should seek medical advice from their local healthcare provider in the country where they reside.

“Information about vaccines used in other national programmes, including regulatory status, should be available from the local authorities.

“This list of Stringent Regulatory Authorities recognised by the World Health Organisation may also be a useful source of additional information.”

According to Spanish newspaper El Pais, Spain’s COVID-19 vaccination programme is entering the final stages of immunising residents of care homes.

Meanwhile, the majority of healthcare workers have also received their first jab.

In the UK, the Government is aiming to have offered first doses to 15 million people in the top four priority groups.

Many healthcare workers, frontline workers and other high-risk citizens have also been allowed the opportunity to receive their jab.

More than 13,500,000 people have received their first dose of the vaccine in the UK at the time of writing.

A further 523,447 have received their second dose, at the time of writing.

Expats living in Spain who chose to return to the UK will need to self-isolate for 10 days.

“Before you return to the UK you must provide your journey and contact details,” states the FCDO.

“You must self-isolate when you enter the UK from any foreign country except Ireland unless you have a valid exemption.”

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