The Spanish health ministry has given the go-ahead for children aged between 5 and 11 to be vaccinated against Covid-19, following a rise of infections in recent weeks.
In late November, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended granting an extension for the use of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer to include children aged between 5 to 11.
The EMA has said that for children aged from 5 to 11, the dose would be lower than that used in people aged 12 and above. As with the older age groups, however, two injections would be given.
Since the EMA’s recommendation on 25 November, Italy and Austria have also been inoculating children in that age group.
On Tuesday Spain’s health ministry tweeted that the Public Health Commission has approved vaccinating 5-11 year olds against Covid. The roll-out is due to commence on Wednesday 15 December, two days after the first of 3.2 million child vaccines arrive in Spain. Some regions will administer the jabs at schools, others will do so at medical centres. A second jab would be administered eight weeks after the first.
Spain has had high vaccine uptakes, with close to 90% of people eligible for the jabs receiving them. Whilst daily infections have risen in recent weeks, there has not been a strain on hospitals. The incidence rate of Covid for children under the age of 11 according to Friday 10 December figures was 547, whereas the overall figure for Spain was 323.
Latest figures (with data collated up to Thursday 9 December) show that Spain has administered 77,827,910 jabs of the Covid vaccine. 37,702,839 people have now been fully vaccinated, which is 79.5% of the total population (89.4% of the population aged over 12). A further 6,027,380 ‘booster’ jabs have also been administered. Also read: Covid-19 Vaccinations in Spain.
The World Health Organization’s Europe director, Hans Kluge, said on Tuesday that ‘it is not unusual today to see two-to-three times higher incidence among young children than in the rest of the population’.
Apart from helping prevent infections among the rest of their family, vaccinating children can help avoid further school closures and home learning, Kluge said in a statement.
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🗞️La Comisión de Salud Pública aprueba la incorporación de niños y niñas de 5 a 11 años a la Estrategia de Vacunación 🇪🇸 #COVID19— Ministerio de Sanidad (@sanidadgob) December 7, 2021
🗓️ La llegada de💉se prevé para el 13 de diciembre y la vacunación se iniciará a partir del 15#YoMeVacunoSeguro pic.twitter.com/t2yHLphK4g