This country has approved Covid vaccinations for children in 5 to 11 age group

Spain’s health minister Carolina Darias told reporters in Brussels where she was attending a meeting of EU health ministers, they expect to start vaccinating children from next week when the first doses of Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine are expected arrive.
Spain has a nationwide vaccination rate of nearly 80 per cent, (Reuters File Photo/Representative Image)
Spain has a nationwide vaccination rate of nearly 80 per cent, (Reuters File Photo/Representative Image)
Published on Dec 07, 2021 07:29 PM IST
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By | Written by Meenakshi Ray, New Delhi

Spain on Tuesday approved vaccinations against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) for children aged 5 to 11 following a recommendation by the European Union's health regulator late last month and amid a rise in infections in the country.

The health ministry of Spain, which has a nationwide Covid-19 vaccination rate of nearly 80 per cent, tweeted news of the approval, following the decision of an expert committee.

According to Reuters, Spain’s health minister Carolina Darias told reporters in Brussels where she was attending a meeting of EU health ministers, they expect to start vaccinating children from next week when the first doses of Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine are expected arrive.

Italy and Austria have also been inoculating children since the European Union's drug regulator authorised Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine for use on that age group on November 25.

Also read | Expert panel meet on booster shots, jabs for under 18 remains inconclusive

Spain's neighbour Portugal is also expected to follow suit, with vaccines for children due to arrive in the country in two weeks' time. According to officials in Portugal, more than 90 per cent of the 12-17 age group have received jabs.

Both countries have high vaccine rate, with close to 90 per cent of people eligible for the jabs receiving them.

Also read | New York City imposes vaccine mandate on private sector employers

The World Health Organization (WHO) Europe director Hans Kluge said on Tuesday “it is not unusual today to see two-to-three times higher incidence among young children than in the rest of the population.”

Kluge said in a statement vaccinating children, who can unwittingly transmit Covid-19 to others, can help avoid further school closures and home learning apart from helping prevent infections among the rest of their family.

European Union countries such as Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic have already approved vaccinations for children under 12.

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