The Andalusian Regional Ministry of Health has announced that it will administer the flu vaccine to children aged between six months and five years in order to mitigate the spread of the seasonal virus among vulnerable populations.
Andalusia will begin vaccinating people over the age of 80, residents of socio-health centres and their workers on 3 October for Covid-19 and influenza at the same time, according to the Junta’s director of public health, Jorge del Diego Salas.
The first to be vaccinated in Andalusia will be the over-80s, people living in social health centres and centres for dependents, as well as workers in these centres, according to Salas.
In the following weeks, the plan will be extended to the rest of the age groups and the population over 60 years of age will be vaccinated to prevent serious Covid-19 disease, and the population over 65 years of age will be vaccinated against influenza, as well as people with chronic pathologies, those who are heavily dependent and pregnant women.
The novelty in this second phase of the vaccination plan is that the flu vaccine will be given to children between six and 59 months, as, according to the director of public health, it will help to prevent transmission to other vulnerable groups and reduce serious cases of flu, hospitalisation and deaths.
This week the instructions for the vaccination dates for the paediatric population will be made public, although it is normal for it to begin in about two weeks, he said.
He also said that this year the flu is expected to have a higher incidence in the population than in the last two years, when it has been practically non-existent.
The fourth vaccine against Covid-19 or second booster dose begins to be administered this Monday to the elderly living in residences, some 390,000 throughout Spain, a group that has been prioritised by the autonomous communities in this first phase, and people aged 80 and over, a population group that in Spain accounts for 2.9 million.
The Autonomous Communities have everything ready to start inoculating the vaccines in geriatric centres, and many of them are starting today to call up people over 80 years of age, who will mainly have to go to their health centres to receive the fourth dose as, in principle, the “vaccinodromes” have been ruled out, except for Galicia, which has announced that it will reserve some large centres for this campaign.
Another novelty of the autumn campaign is that bivariate vaccines will be used for the first time, as sera adapted from the original versions of Cominarty (Pfizer/BioTech) and Spikvax (Moderna) will be administered, which protect against the subvariants of omicron but also against the initial forms of SARS-Cov-2.
Health has made it clear that these vaccines are more precise and offer broader protection and the side effects are similar to those already administered. According to the Ministry of Health, they may be inoculated with others such as the pneumococcal preparation depending on feasibility and in order to speed up the process of protection against the viruses.