Sunday 1/16/22
CORONAVIRUS

Spain approves vaccination for 5 to 11-year-olds as cases rise

The arrival of the first consignment of pediatric vaccines to Spain is scheduled for 13 December
23 November 2021, Spain, Madrid: People queue outside the Wizink Center to receive their third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Alberto Ortega/EUROPA PRESS/dpa.
People queue outside the Wizink Center to receive their third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Alberto Ortega/dpa.

The vaccination of 5- to 11-year-olds against Covid-19 has been approved by a regulatory commission in Spain, the Ministry of Health in Madrid announced on Tuesday.

This paves the way for Spain to further increase its vaccination rate, which already stands at just under 90% of all people aged 12 and older, which is high even by European standards.

In November, the European Medicines Agency approved the use of the Pfizer/Biontech vaccine for children aged 5 and up.

According to figures from the Ministry of Health, in Spain there are about 3.3 million children of these ages who are likely to receive protection against Covid-19. At this time, children under 12 years of age constitute the age group with the highest cumulative incidence of infections.

Despite its high vaccination rate, Spain's seven-day incidence is currently rising. Its 2021 low of around 18 cases per 100,000 people is but a distant memory, however, and is currently hovering around the 139 mark.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) authorized in November the Comirnaty vaccine (from Pfizer) for the population between 5 and 11 years old. This vaccine will be dispensed in vials different from those used for the adult population.

Starting 15 December

The arrival of the first consignment of pediatric vaccines to Spain is scheduled for 13 December. The distribution in the autonomous communities (regions) and cities will be done in proportion to its target population.

The Public Health Commission has decided to begin child vaccination in this age group, starting on 15 December.

The time interval for the administration of the second dose will be 8 weeks, "to help increase the immune response, as well as to have all minors between 5 and 11 years vaccinated in a short space of time with at least one dose , "says the Ministry of Health.

Massive infection in Malaga

On Tuesday the Regional University Hospital of Malaga announced that some 68 medical staff tested positive for the coronavirus after a attending a hospital Christmas dinner on December 1.

A spokesperson for the hospital said on Tuesday that it was not yet known how many of the infections actually happened at the dinner, which was attended by more than 170 medical staff in total.

All attendees reportedly took antigen tests beforehand, all of which came back negative. Those who attended the event have now gone into a 10-day quarantine.

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