File photograph of a child being vaccinated. / SUR

Covid-19 vaccination campaign for the under-11s in Andalucía starts this week

From this Monday, 13 December, parents and guardians can make an appointment for their children, and the first doses will begin to be given to youngsters between the ages of eleven to nine from 15 December

ALMUDENA NOGUÉS

This Monday, 13 December, the first shipment of Pfizer childhood coronavirus vaccines arrives in Spain, destined to vaccinate the 3.3 million children, nationally, between the ages of 5 and 11 years old.  And with their arrival, the campaign to start administering the doses will kick into action around the different regions of the country.

In Andalucía, the Junta has announced that from this Monday, 13 December, an appointment can be made for children to be vaccinated in their health centres and two days later, on the 15th, the doses will be ready to be administered with the challenge that the 260,000 Pfizer vaccines that the region expects to receive this week (22 per cent of the national total) are given before Christmas, according to region's Health Minister, Jesus Aguirre.

In total, 684,425 minors are eligible to be vaccinated in the region, and to reach that number a second shipment of 440,000 doses is expected in January, all of them from Pfizer.

As in the case of adults, a decreasing age vaccination strategy will be adopted, prioritising those in group 7, which includes children with weakened immune systems, those undergoing cancer treatments and youngsters with chronic illnesses.

How to request an appointment

Vaccination appointments can be requested through the usual Andalusian Health Service (SAS) channels from 13 December but, initially, only for children under 9, 10 and 11 years old born in 2010, 2011 y 2012. That is via the ClicSalud web page, through the Salud Responde App, or by calling the Salud Responde phone number  955 54 50 60.

The Covid vaccination doses for youngsters will be given in health centres, external vaccination points and, in the case of rural areas, in schools. The Junta has announced that childhood vaccinations will be done mainly in the afternoons, Monday through Friday, and also on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) so that children can be accompanied by their parents. 

Children will be injected with a third of the serum that adults are given (10 micrograms instead of 30) and the vials - all of them of Pzifer - will be a different colour – orange - to differentiate them from those of adults (purple). This first dose will be followed by a second jab eight weeks later, as agreed by Spain's Public Health Commission.

Not mandatory

The coronavirus vaccination is not mandatory, although paediatricians, epidemiologists and vaccine experts have been insisting on the importance of protecting children. Currently, the incidence of Covid among children under 11 years of age far exceeds the national average with 533 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days compared to 305.

At the moment there is no date set for the vaccination campaign in the under-9s, either to ask for an appointment nor to administer the doses.