One year after the COVID-19 vaccination campaign started, the Public Health Commission has also agreed to start immunizing children between the ages of 5 and 11 starting next December 15, Although it will be each autonomous community that will decide where and in what order to vaccinate children, as indicated by the Ministry of Health.
In Spain there are about 3.3 million children of those ages who are susceptible to receive protection against the coronavirus. At this time, children under the age of 12 constitute the age group with the highest cumulative incidence of COVID-19 cases.
The arrival of pediatric vaccines in our country is scheduled for December 13, and from that day they will be distributed to the autonomous communities in proportion to the child population that each one has.
For now, not all regional governments have spoken out about their plans to immunize the little ones. But we answer the doubts about the vaccination of children that are already known.
When and where will each community vaccinate children?
- Aragon: It will start with children who turn 11, 10 and 9 years old in 2021, that is, those born between 2010 and 2012, and expect to start the administration of doses between 15 or 16. On the place of vaccination, next Thursday it will report to families on how to access immunization.
- Castilla la Mancha: it will begin to provide the first dose to children between 5 and 11 years old on December 15 and will do so in schools.
- Castile and Leon: At the moment, there is no information about the date, only that the inoculation will not be carried out in schools, but in mass vaccination centers.
- Catalonia: the Generalitat has not yet decided which day it will start, but has announced that once they have the doses, they will do so without delay. They will start first with the 11-year-olds and will progressively decrease in age. In principle, it will not be in the schools, but it will be done by appointment at the vaccination centers.
- Madrid’s community: vaccination of minors will start on the 15th by self-appointment in hospitals in the region, in a different vaccination line from that of adults.
What vaccines will children between the ages of 5 and 11 be given?
On November 25, the European Medicines Agency authorized the Pfizer vaccine for the population between 5 and 11 years old. This vaccine will be dispensed in vials different from those used for the adult population. It is the same drug that is already used in minors between the ages of 12 and 17.
How many doses are necessary? Is the vaccine the same as that for adults?
Children between the ages of 5 and 11 are vaccinated with one third of the normal adult dose. Clinical trials have shown that with less quantity an immune response is achieved very similar to that of the elderly. In any case, the entire regimen is administered in the same way, in two injections.
When will the second dose be?
As agreed by the Public Health Commission, the interval of administration of the second dose will be eight weeks, to help increase the immune response, as well as to have all minors between 5 and 11 years old vaccinated in a short space of time with at least one dose.
Can children vulnerable to other diseases also be vaccinated?
Yes, the European Medicines Agency has concluded that the benefits of the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years outweigh the risks, especially in those young with other conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19.
What are the side effects in children?
The Side effects of COVID-19 vaccines in children are very similar to those experienced by adults, according to the European Medicines Agency. The most common reactions are pain, redness and swelling at the injection site, tiredness, headache and muscle aches, and chills. All are usually mild or moderate.
Why is it necessary to vaccinate the little ones?
There is no zero risk And although the coronavirus is generally mild for these ages, “it can get complicated at times,” according to the Spanish Association of Pediatrics, which has already spoken in favor of vaccinating those over 5 years of age. In addition, vaccinating children can contribute to reduce virus circulation.
Are other countries vaccinating children?
Yes, China, Israel, Canada or the United States have already started immunizing children with vaccines. Also most of the Latin American countries. However, they do not always use the same ones as the one approved for minors in the European Union.