Spain receives its first batch of Covid-19 vaccines for children under 12

A child, 11, receives the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for children
Wedneday December 15th will be the first day that children are allowed to receive the version of the vaccine designed for children aged 5 to 11 years old in Spain. (Photo by Andrej Ivanov / AFP)
The first shipment of 1.3 million Pfizer doses for children aged 5 to 11 arrives in Spain on Monday, with the vaccination campaign for young children set to start on Wednesday December 15th.  

Less than a week since Spain’s Health Ministry announced it will vaccinate children 5 to 11, the first shipment of these reduced doses for minors will arrive in the Spanish territory on Monday December 13th. 

Once in Spain, Sanidad (Spain’s Health Ministry) will distribute it to the country’s 17 regions and two autonomous cities. 

This first shipment had already been announced by Health Minister Carolina Darias in late November before the country’s Vaccination Committee and the Public Health Commission confirmed they would follow the advice by the European Medicines Agency vis-à-vis Covid-19 vaccines for children under 12. 

EXPLAINED: How Spain will vaccinate five to 11 year-olds against Covid

The first children in this age group to be vaccinated will be those aged 10 or 11 who are immunosuppressed or have other pre-existing health conditions. 

Each regional health authority will be responsible for organising its own vaccination strategy for this young age group, meaning that parents who wish to have their children vaccinated against Covid-19 will have to find out if in their region it’s necessary to book a cita previa (appointment) or if the modus operandi is different.

For the most part, vaccinations will be carried out at health centres, hospitals and vaccination centres but the Valencia Region, La Rioja, Andalusia, Castilla-La Mancha and Extremadura have opted for also administering Covid-19 vaccines at schools.

Five other autonomies (Asturias, Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, Navarra and Murcia) have ruled out vaccinating children at their educational centres due to insufficient space at the premises and the fact that Covid-19 vaccination is an extracurricular activity which requires children to be accompanied by their parents, and therefore ensure their consent.

Covid-19 vaccines for children under 12 are voluntary as is the case for all other age groups.

The vaccine approved for children aged 5 to 11 is the Comirnaty (Pfizer / BioNTech) inoculation, reduced to 10 microgrammes, a third of that administered to adults.

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