The Ministry of Health and the autonomous communities the debate on the advisability of vaccinating adolescents before it begins is still pending the school year, or when appropriate by age shift.
According to the National Institute of Statistics, it is almost four million Spaniards: there are a total of 3,948,296 young people who are part of the age group between 12 and 19 years. In a joint press conference with the Minister of Education, Isabel Celaá, the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, explained that the idea would be to include this point in the vaccination strategy if so agreed by the Interterritorial Health Council, after a debate in the Commission of Public Health and the Presentation of Vaccines.
In fact, in the council held on Wednesday, Extremadura and other autonomous communities defended the vaccination with doses of Pfizer to the population between 12 and 16 years of age before the start of the next course. On the other hand, health representatives from other communities opposed an advance and advocated continuing the vaccination process by age groups, so that, “when it is the turn of this youth group, they proceed to their vaccination.
The group with the most infections
In the past three weeks, this age group 10-19 it was one of those that registered the highest number of infections and a higher cumulative incidence, although it has decreased in that period from 95 to 78.8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
However, epidemiological data in Spain show that people ages 50-59, 40-49, and 30-39 are at increased risk of hospitalization, ICU admission and death than adolescents and preadolescents.
The Junta de Andalucía plans to vaccinate adolescents who study in institutes before the next school year begins in mid-September. Its health authorities estimate that the administration of the two doses in the region to students can be completed in August and September. The vaccination coverage projection made by the Junta de Andalucía in its plan to put a million doses a week includes that 89 percent of the target population (over 16 years of age) be immunized on August 1, provided they are met. the arrival forecast for the next few months.
Vaccinated in the institutes themselves?
The Catalan Minister of Education has also announced that students from 12 to 16 years old will be vaccinated in the institutes themselves if the immunization schedule for this age group coincides with the start of the course in September, as a way to facilitate the process.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) supported on May 28 the use of the Pfizer vaccine for adolescents between 12 and 15 years of age, the first preparation that passes European scientific scrutiny for minors and that until now was only authorized in the EU for those over 16 years of age due to the lack of clinical studies that demonstrated its effectiveness in other age groups.
Days later, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) recalled that older age groups should continue to be prioritized when vaccinating against COVID-19 before starting with adolescents.
In a report, the ECDC stresses that disease in healthy youngsters is normally “milder” and considers that before starting to inoculate minors, several factors should be considered, such as the vaccination strategy for the entire population, the implementation status and its priorities, as well as the epidemiological situation.