SPAIN has enlisted the help of the nation’s favourite children’s television characters to encourage kids to get the jab.

The state television channel RTVE will be running the campaign on its Clan channel using Pocoyo,  Doctor Crocodoc and Agus&Lui to promote Spain’s childhood COVID-19 vaccination programme.

The characters will be used to explain the benefits of having the vaccines and show there is nothing to be afraid of.

The initiative follows the decision by Spain’s Health Ministry last December to offer vaccines to children over the age of five.

Those under the age of 11 are given a smaller dose specially designed for children.

Spain has one of the highest vaccination rates in Europe with over 90% of the population aged 12 and over has been fully vaccinated.

However the uptake among those aged 5 to 11 has been less swift with so far only 53% of the age group receiving their first dose, according to the latest data released by Spain’s Health Ministry.

Some parents have expressed reluctance to give their children the COVID-19 vaccine, even if they themselves have already had the jab.

In a survey by market research company Appinio published in mid-December when vaccines were extended to the under 12s, only 74 percent of parents in Spain said they would have their young children jabbed.

Meanwhile, 13.7 percent said they were undecided and 12 percent answered that they would not. 

The Spanish Paediatric Association’s Francisco Alvarez sought to reassure parents that side effects produced in some adults taking the vaccines will be milder, as the dosage being offered to young children is smaller.

“Spain is a vaccinating country where parents trust doctors and if they have doubts they should ask their paediatrician or their paediatric nurse,” he said.


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