Health department to begin vaccinating 12,000 children under 5 against flu within a month

On the doorstep of seasonal virus landing. The Ministry of Health of the Government of La Rioja has completed the logistics of the autumn vaccination campaign (influenza, COVID-19, bronchiolitis), which this year will for the first time include the administration of anti-influenza vials to children from 6 to 59 months of age; that is, all People who are half a year old but under five years old, the number is about 12,000 minors in terms of the community.

Before the campaign, only pediatric populations with underlying medical conditions or premature infants were vaccinated against influenza, but the Interregional Committee of the National Health System (CISNS) decided at a meeting in Mérida last December to include healthy children as well . age group.

“Because they are very young, they will be vaccinated at their health centers,” said Eva Martínez Ochoa, director of public health. She explained, “People in this age group tend to be more Vulnerable to the flu, in addition, they are at greater risk for more severe illness and more complications.

Influenza affects 20% to 40% of children, with 5% of cases ultimately hospitalized because of its severity. As a result, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other international organizations have been recommending for nearly a decade that children also receive this seasonal dose, arguing that “the vaccine is the most effective form of protection against influenza.” The Vaccine Advisory Committee of the Spanish Pediatric Association (CAV-AEP) recalls that “influenza is a persistent threat and a huge public health problem with major socioeconomic impact, resulting in severe cases in nearly 1 million children under the age of 5”, estimating “The proportion of the child population generally affected during annual influenza epidemics is between 30% and 40%, and children are the main vectors for the transmission of the disease”.

In fact, as the Ministry of Health detailed in its report supporting the recommendation to vaccinate children over six months against influenza, “this respiratory infectious disease caused by viruses of the influenza 19-104 per 10,000 children), medical visits (between 6-15%), and antibiotic use in healthy children (3-9 cycles of antibiotics per 100 children)”.

Last year, the three autonomous regions of Andalusia, Galicia and Murcia initiated influenza vaccination campaigns for children with a coverage rate of 50%, which is expected to increase to 55-60% nationally. Upcoming event starting next October.

“The higher the coverage, the better,” said Eva Martínez Ochoa, acknowledging that “it’s true that children getting piercings can sometimes be complicated, so this year the intranasal vaccine will be purchased to Make it able to receive piercings in children.” Easier to give to children and try to increase immunization rates. In fact, according to the Director-General of Public Health, the regional administration has purchased 4,000 doses of the intranasal vaccine, which will be administered to children aged 2 to 4 years. The remaining infants, aged 6 to 24 months, will receive intramuscular punctures.

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