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Spain on Tuesday approved COVID-19 vaccinations for children aged five to 11, an age group where coronavirus cases are spreading rapidly, with the immunisation drive to start next week.
The decision comes after the European Union’s drug regulator last month cleared Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for use among five- to 11-year-olds, in the first such jab to be approved within the bloc for that age group.
The goal is “to reduce the incidence of the disease in this group and infections in family settings, schools, and the community,” the health ministry said in a statement.
Children under 12 are the age group with the highest Covid-19 infection rate at the moment, it added.
There are around 3.3 million children within that age group in Spain who are now eligible to be vaccinated, the ministry said.
Spain is due to get its first shipment of paediatric Pfizer vaccines on December 13 and will start administering them two days later, it added.
Two shots will be given at an eight-week interval, and the dosage for kids will be a third of that given to adults and adolescents.
Spain joins a growing group of European nations such as Italy and Greece that are offering shots to this age group.
The country has one of the highest Covid-19 vaccination rates of Europe’s big nations, with around 89 percent of those over the age of 12 fully vaccinated.