Young Children To Be Given Flu Vaccinations In Latest Health Campaign

Baby about to vaccinated

Children from six months to five years will be vaccinated. Credit: prostooleh/Freepik

THIS autumn, the Spanish Department of Health is gearing up for its most extensive flu vaccination campaign to date.

For the first time, the campaign will extend beyond individuals with underlying health conditions and those aged 60 and above. It will recommend influenza protection for all healthy children between the ages of six and 59 months, encompassing approximately 200,000 children.

These children also fall within the at-risk population category.

The decision to include healthy children in the vaccination drive was made in October, aligning with the longstanding recommendation by the World Health Organization (WHO). While Galicia and Murcia introduced this initiative during the 2022-2023 winter season, the rest of Spain will follow suit this winter.

This marks the first time that children without underlying health issues will be encouraged to receive the vaccine, starting on October 16.

To ensure broad coverage, the Department of Health has purchased a greater quantity of vaccine doses than initially planned, reported Informacion.

Last year, they acquired 1,285,000 vials for the upcoming season.

This year they have negotiated contracts for 1,340,000 vaccines, with the possibility of an additional 12,000 doses.

For children, there will be two types: injectable vaccines that will be given to the youngest children (those from 6 to 24 months) and those who have diseases or are at risk.

The other type, which is to be inhaled by a puff of the dose up the nose, will be given to healthy children from 24 to 59 months, as marketed products of this type are indicated for children from two years of age. In addition, it is less painful and easier to convince little ones to receive it.

Paediatricians noted one more advantage: when put through the nose, this vaccine not only generates immunity in the system, like the injection, but also in the mucus membranes of the nose so that, if the vaccinated child becomes infected, in addition to being protected against severe cases of flu, it would serve as a “barrier” as it would not be contagious.

The Spanish word for flu is ‘Gripe’, pronounced ‘Greep’.

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Written by

Jo Pugh

Jo Pugh is a journalist based in the Costa Blanca North. Originally from London, she has been involved in journalism and photography for 20 years. She has lived in Spain for 12 years, and is a dedicated and passionate writer.


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