Coronavirus hits new target group in Spain: young children

by Lorraine Williamson
young children new target for coronavirus
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MADRID – As the vaccination campaign in Spain progresses and the group of vaccinated people over the age of 12 grows every daythe virus is looking for the path of least resistance. Young children under the age of 12!

This can be clearly seen in the most recent corona figures in Spain. The corona incidence of the entire Spanish population fell to an average of 83.4 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the past 14 days on Monday. This is a marked difference from the average 123.4 cases per 100,000 children 11 years and younger. 

High incidence not due to new school year in Spain 

Pediatricians and epidemiologists say the high numbers among children cannot be attributed to the start of the new school year. However, this effect can hardly be seen in the figures now. Although, they are convinced the virus does indeed choose the path of least resistance. And that in this case, are children under the age of 12 who have not yet been vaccinated. 

This conclusion came on the same day that Pfizer released preliminary research results testing the vaccine on children under 12. Research shows the vaccine offers the same protection to children between the ages of 5 and 12 as it does to the teenagers already receiving the vaccine. 

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When will the vaccine be approved for younger children? 

The official research results will be published soon in the United States and then in Europe. The Spanish newspaper El País wrote on Monday that experts consider it very likely the US and European authorities will give the green light to the vaccine for children in this age group between the end of October and the beginning of November. 

However, this does not mean that those under the age of 12 will receive the vaccine in Spain. As the Spanish government follows the guidelines and advice of the European Medicines Agency in this. Subsequently, the Interterritorial Health Council will consider the advantages and disadvantages of the vaccine for young children. Furthermore, this group generally has a minimal chance of becoming very seriously ill or even dying from the virus. Moreover, it is very likely the benefits of a vaccine for this target group are less clear than in adults. 

How many young children in Spain have been affected by the virus? 

According to the latest figures from the Carlos III Health Institute, 3,259 children under the age of 10 have been hospitalised following a corona infection since the start of the pandemic. Proportionally, there are 1 in 1,000 who have been diagnosed. 170 of them have been admitted to intensive care and 16 children have died from the virus. 

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