Flu vaccine will be given to children aged six months to five years for the first time

This autumn, the flu vaccine will be rolled out across Spain for the first time to healthy children between 6 months and 5 years old, an innovation as previously only groups of children with underlying medical conditions were vaccinated.

Intranasal or muscular?

All communities and municipalities in Ceuta and Melilla have received doses of this year’s influenza vaccine, which will benefit 1.6 million children, either as an intranasal vaccine for children aged 2 to 5 years or as an intramuscular injection for the youngest children Vaccine (6 to 23 months), Javier Álvarez, member of the Vaccine Advisory Committee of the Spanish Pediatric Association (CAV-AEV), explained to EFE.

The expert, who is keen to achieve autumn coverage in Spain, said flu vaccinations were given to children last year in only three autonomous regions – Andalusia, Galicia and Murcia – with “brilliant” results, Coverage reached 50% and averaged 55% to 60%.

What results has this vaccine achieved?

The expert pointed out that although these coverage areas may not seem large, they are very important because they have had a significant impact. Benefit.”

Alvarez noted that the reason for giving this vaccine to healthy children is “to protect those who are vaccinated, but also because they are the main spreaders of influenza, mainly in schools and day care centers, and they spread the virus to those with whom they are exposed. People to live with. ”

The expert recognizes that when it comes to the flu, “it took a long time for people to realize that it’s not an ordinary disease” and that it’s not without its complications, especially in young children: “Flu has to Take precautions. “Seriously,” he warned.

How does the flu affect children?

In fact, influenza affects 20 to 40 percent of children, depending on the extent of the epidemic that year, with 5 percent of cases ending in hospitalization due to severity.

He reiterated that two-thirds of hospitalized children are healthy, that is, they have no underlying conditions, and therefore recommended that “everyone be vaccinated, vaccination is always a value”.

Therefore, this autumn, the influenza vaccine already on the calendar of the national health system will be targeted at this group and children with underlying medical conditions, regardless of their age.

Can it be injected with other vaccines?

Influenza can be given at the same time as other illnesses: “The fewer vaccinations the better, because stressful moments overlap,” he adds.

Amos García Rojas, a member of the European Standing Group of the World Health Organization and an honorary member of the Spanish Vaccinology Association (AEV), also spoke on this topic. He believes that influenza vaccine will be included in the scope of vaccination this year. Child population. Cured due to “its important role in disease transmission.”

In a statement to EFE, García Rojas insisted that “a significant reduction in adult influenza cases has been observed” in countries where healthy children have been vaccinated.

What will happen with the COVID-19 vaccine?

Also this autumn, the vaccination campaign against the coronavirus will resume using the new serum, an intervention that García Rojas believes “will remain stable in the coming years”, albeit only for high-risk groups, once a year and at the same time Get a flu shot.

“The coronavirus will continue to exist, it will not be diluted or spread, it will continue to be with us, which means there are people in the population who are at clear risk who will receive booster doses of treatment,” the former president assured. AEV of.

New vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and Novavax adapted to covid-19 variants will be administered this year. Those asked to take the anti-Covid vaccine will be the elderly, patients with high-risk medical conditions, the immunosuppressed, pregnant women and healthcare workers.

Pfizer reports that since most flu vaccines are distributed in late September and administered in October, “the goal is to make the newer Ómicron XBB.1.5 vaccine available at the same time.”

Moderna assured that its updated vaccine “has shown significant increases in antibody neutralizing capacity against the EG.5, FL 1.5.1 strains, and XBB variants” and that it “will be ready for fall vaccinations with sufficient global supply. “

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