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I don’t know much about DND, but this question keeps chewing on my brain. I know a vampire can turn someone into a spawn and after that they can turn them into a true vampire. But can the spawn themselves turn anyone?

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No, only true Vampires can create Vampire Spawn

The Vampire's Bite attack contains the following language, which allows it to create Vampire Spawn

A humanoid slain in this way and then buried in the ground rises the following night as a vampire spawn under the vampire's control.

The Vampire Spawn's Bite does not have this language, so it cannot do that.

As you observe, a Vampire Spawn can become a full-fledged Vampire, and afterwards, as a Vampire of course create Spawn -- but then it is not a Spawn itself anymore:

If a true vampire allows a spawn to draw blood from its own body, the spawn transforms into a true vampire no longer under its master's control. Few vampires are willing to relinquish their control in this manner.

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