ALL CHILDREN in Spain aged between six months and five years will be eligible to get a flu vaccine this autumn.

Previous policy has been for only youngsters with underlying conditions to receive a flu shot.

The age range extension according to the Spanish Association of Pediatrics will mean that between 55% and 60% of young children will get a dose.

Javier Alvarez of the Association said: “This will bring added protection as children are the main spreaders of influenza in schools and nurseries- passing on the virus to people they live with.”

He pointed out out that flu affects up to 40% of young children, and that 5% of cases end up in hospital- especially if somebody is suffering with other ailments.

Evidence also shows that when children are vaccinated, the number of flu cases among adults is reduced.

The autumn flu vaccination campaign will start in tandem with a fresh set of Covid-19 booster shots, focused on the most vulnerable with everybody aged over 60 included.

The Covid injections will start with the most elderly whose risks of contracting a serious disease increases if they contract the coronavirus.

Other groups include health and social workers as well as people who work in institutions like residences, disability centres, and prisons.

It is not yet clear which drugs will be used as Spain has bought more than 100 million doses that are outdated as new Covid variants have appeared over the last year.

International health authorities are recommending to wait for new formulas produced by pharmaceutical companies which are expected to be ready after the summer, adapted to the new omicron variant that is predominantly circulating at the moment.

It’s not known whether Spain will have access to the new boosters in time for the autumn campaign.

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