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COVID-19 VACCINES

Region by region: Where young children in Spain can get vaccinated against Covid

Children aged 5 to 11 can be vaccinated against Covid-19 as of Wednesday December 15th, although regional health authorities are organising their campaigns differently. Here’s what you need to know. 

Region by region: Where young children in Spain can get vaccinated against Covid
Regional health authorities will not vaccinate children aged 5 to 11 without permission from their parents. Photo: CHIP SOMODEVILLA/AFP

Things are moving fast since Spain’s Vaccination Committee and Public Health Commission gave the go-ahead to the Covid-19 vaccination for children under 12 last Tuesday

The first shipment of 1.3 million Pfizer doses for children aged 5 to 11 arrived in Spain on Monday, which national health authorities have since distributed to the country’s 17 regions according to their child population.

However, regional health departments organise their own vaccination strategy, deciding when each age gets called up for this voluntary vaccine, where they get inoculated and how their appointment is organised.

In Spain there are about 3.3 million children between the ages of 5 and 11 who are now eligible for the vaccine. 

This age group also currently has the highest infection rate in Spain, although symptoms and health risks are considerably less serious for children than for adults.

You can find out more about the details of Spain’s vaccination campaign for young children by clicking on this explainer, but in this article we will go over the regional information available in terms of when, where and how children aged 5 to 11 can get their Covid-19 shot in their part of Spain. 

Andalusia: The southern region’s Covid-19 vaccination campaign for children 11 and under starts on December 15th at health centers and vaccination points offering the jab to children in the afternoon and on weekends. As of December 13th, appointments can be requested for children aged 9,10 and 11.

Aragón: Aragonese health authorities will also start vaccinating children aged 9 to 11, the only ages announced so far in December. The campaign is scheduled to start on December 15th or 16th. An official announcement is expected on Thursday to inform parents where the vaccination of young children will take place. 

Asturias:  The northern region’s health service (Sespa) has announced that the vaccination of their children aged 9 to 11 will start at the earliest on December 20th. Health centres will be the main vaccination points for kids, who will contact the children’s parents for an appointment. The inoculation of children under 9 is expected for January.

Balearic Islands: Health workers in the Mediterranean islands are expected to start their campaign on time on December 15th with two groups: children aged 9 to 11 years old and younger immunosuppressed children. Schools will not be used as vaccination points.

Canary Islands: The Atlantic archipelago will begin vaccinating its child population on Wednesday December 15th, starting with immunosuppressed kids, whose parents will be contacted by their local health centre. The parents of all other children in the 5 to 11 age group can make an appointment by phone or on the Canary Health Service app. Vaccination centres and health centres will be used rather than schools.

Cantabria: Parents of children aged 5 to 11 in the northern region can book appointments for their kids to be vaccinated at local health centres during afternoons and weekends as of December 15th. 

Castilla-La Mancha: Health workers in the central region will start to give the first dose to children aged 5 to 11 from December 15th at either health centres or schools. They will start with the oldest students (aged 11 and 10). Vaccination at health centres during the school holidays will be prioritised so that parents can accompany their children. Parents will be contacted about the Covid vaccination for their children via text message.

Castilla y León: Castillian Leonese health authorities will kick off their campaign on the week of December 20th, starting with 10 and 11 year olds, who will receive their first dose at mass vaccination spaces or at health centers, accompanied by their parents or with permission from them.

Catalonia: Parents in Catalonia can book appointments for their children through the Vacuna Covid website here. The campaign starts on December 15th and is open immediately to all children aged 5 to 11. 

Madrid Community: Kids in the capital and surrounds can book an appointment with the help of their parents to get their Covid-19 vaccine at a local hospital from December 15th, starting with the oldest children (aged 11) and work their way down.

Valencia Community: Children in the Costa Blanca and other parts of the eastern region will be able to get vaccinated at school, in the mornings and during school hours, starting with immunosuppressed children and then from oldest to youngest, starting with kids aged 11, 10 and 9.

Extremadura: The vaccination campaign for kids in the western region will be carried out at schools from December 15th. They estimate to complete the 11, 10 and 9 year group before December 22nd, and to continue after Christmas once kids have returned to the classrooms.

Galicia: From Wednesday December 15th to Saturday 18th, children aged 9, 10 and 11 will be contacted via text message sent to their parents to receive the Covid-19 vaccine at vaccination centres in the northwestern region. 

Navarre: The innoculation campaign in Navarre starts on the 15th in rural areas. Different vaccination points and spaces will be used in each health zone. The notifications will be made preferably with the sending of SMS, and the minors at risk will be summoned first, and will continue by age, from oldest to youngest.

Basque Country: From December 15th, children aged 5 to 11 in the Basque Country can be vaccinated at health centres in the region.

La Rioja: Children’s Covid vaccine will preferably be administered at schools according to health authorities in the wine-producing region, with prior authorisation from parents. The campaign is scheduled to start on December 15th. Over the Christmas period, from December 23rd to January 4th, children will be able to get their first dose at the Biomedical Research Center of La Rioja (CIBIR).

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COVID-19 VACCINES

Spain to offer fourth Covid-19 vaccine dose to ‘entire population’

Spain’s Health Ministry on Thursday announced there will be a second Covid-19 booster shot offered to all age groups in the country, with the rollout likely to begin this autumn.

Spain to offer fourth Covid-19 vaccine dose to 'entire population'

Spain’s Health Minister Carolina Darias on Thursday announced that the country’s Public Health Commission, the body responsible for advising the ministry on Spain’s Covid vaccination strategy, has said there should be a fourth dose offered to all of Spain’s 47 million inhabitants. 

What hasn’t been fully decided yet is when the rollout will begin, although Darias did hint that it’s likely to take place during the autumn. 

“We’re waiting for the arrival of new vaccines adapted to Covid-19 variants by that date, as stated in the contracts we have signed with the pharmaceutical companies,” Darias said on La Sexta TV channel.

The decision also still requires full approval from the Public Health Commission. There’s unlikely to be a u-turn on the matter, although Spanish health authorities have at different stages of the pandemic taken some time to execute decisions they initially announced. 

Until now, only people over 80, those in care homes and people classified as vulnerable (cancer, HIV, transplant, dialysis patients) have been approved to have a second booster dose in Spain, which is milder than the initial two-shot vaccination given in 2021.

In April 2022, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) considered that at that time it was too early to speak of a fourth dose for all age groups, but they have given the go ahead to high-risk groups.

Around 50 percent of Spain’s population has had one Covid-19 booster dose (third dose), but the rates are lower among younger people.

Spain’s Public Health Commission is in favour of waiting to see how the country’s epidemiological situation evolves and for the new messenger RNA vaccines adapted to the new variants to be made available. 

These new serums are expected to be ready in October and the two pharmaceutical companies developing them, Pfizer and Moderna, have already submitted the results of their clinical trials to the European Medicines Agency.

Although for the past months Spain has only been counting Covid-19 infections in people aged 60 and over as well as serious cases, health authorities have recorded an increase in recent weeks. 

On Tuesday, they confirmed there were 36,133 new infections over the previous 7 days and 131 Covid deaths.

As part of its change of strategy towards the pandemic in recent months, the Spanish government has essentially treated Covid-19 like another endemic disease similar to the flu, deciding to remove quarantines for asymptomatic and mild cases, and after a long wait, relaxed indoor mask wearing rules.

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