THE Junta is working on a vaccination plan for children aged 0-11 years, expected to begin at the end of October.
The campaign would be carried out in the schools and early childhood education and care centres, always with the prior consent of the parents.
According to Junta Vice-President, Juan Marin, the next stage of COVID-19 vaccine roll-out in Andalucia will focus on children under 12, where the plan would be to vaccinate children in schools.
During a press conference, coinciding with the start of the school term for nursery schools, Marin informed that work was underway to ensure that the COVID-19 vaccination for children under 12 could be carried out in schools with nurses.
Marin explained that as the under 12 age-group is ‘small-scaled’ compared to what is currently being administered, it would be possible to vaccinate this age-group very rapidly.
The Junta Vice-President suggested that it would be possible to vaccine entire primary educational centres—up to 126,000 children—in one morning. Given, of course, that all the parents were in agreement.
The exact date of this vaccine roll-out is yet to be determined, though the target is to start at the end of October, with a current focus on the 800,000 Andalucians who have not yet received their first jab.
Marin has stressed the importance of getting a first jab before the flu season arrives, and on reaching the region’s proposed target of vaccinating 75% of young people, aged 12 to 16, before the new school year starts.
Clinical trials in Spain for the COVID-19 vaccine in children under 12 years are still underway.
According to Manuel Gijon, paediatrician and responsible for testing Pfizer’s covid vaccine in very young children, from newborn to 12 years old, the benefits of immunising children outweigh the risks of the vaccine itself and children ‘suffer fewer side effects than adults’.
“So far, the results of the clinical trials in children are showing that the side effects are less frequent and milder. It is a very safe vaccine and well tolerated by children.” Gijon said.