• Bronchiolitis clinic, this is how we face the viral pandemic of the little ones
  • Boticaria García Sparkling water: is it healthier?
  • Doubts Hair loss, also climate change can affect autumn loss
  • Learn more Tinnitus: A torture that is also suffered in silence

All our lives we have heard about the famous "Childhood Vaccination Schedule". A few years ago in the Ministry of Health they began to worry because the very name of the calendar made older people see vaccination as something very distant. Since 2019, as the single ring, we have a "single vaccination schedule", for children and adults. It's called the Common Calendar for Life.

What's new in the calendar in 2023

On the one hand we have good news for the pockets of parents and future parents: the menincoccus B vaccine is already given together with the rest of the vaccines at 2, 4 and 12 months. And not only in children but also this vaccine is going to be administered to risk groups, which is very good news.

On the other hand, these are the three big bombs of the season.

  • The herpes zoster vaccine is included for the elderly.
  • It includes the HPV vaccine in children at twelve years of age (previously only girls were routinely vaccinated).
  • And finally, the great novelty, which is the recommendation of influenza vaccination from 6 months to 5 years.

Flu vaccination in children, but this wasn't for older people?

For seniors... and also for children. In fact, the Spanish Association of Pediatrics had already recommended in previous years that children be vaccinated. Last year there were threepilot tests in three communities: Andalusia, Galicia and Murcia where between 40-50% of the target population was vaccinated.

Of course, the elderly, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems are still risk groups but children are also easy targets of the virus. As data:

  • 40% of children are infected with influenza each year, of these between 5% and 12% will have complications and of these, some (although very few) will be serious.
  • Two-thirds of influenza admissions are for children who were healthy before infection. That is, it is not that the virus is going to go for children at risk just for children: it is going for everyone (and everyone).
  • The flu causes between 20 and 30 deaths annually in children in Spain. The figures are important from 6 months.

Does vaccinating children protect the elderly?

It is true that children are good transmitters of the virus and that vaccinating them works as a good firewall in the chain of transmission. But we must not fall into the error of thinking that when we vaccinate them we are "using" them so as not to infect grandparents. No. We vaccinate them mainly to protect them and by the way, look how good, we prevent them from infecting other people. But the main thing is that they have a benefit.

Second novelty: vaccine against herpes zoster

People between 65 and 80 years old can (and should) be vaccinated against shingles, the famous "shingles". People in this age group can make an appointment. Ah! And if you are not 65 years old but belong to a risk group, this vaccine is also indicated. .

Third novelty: vaccine against the human papillomavirus (HPV)

It is great news that 12-year-olds are finally being vaccinated. For many years it has been thought that this HPV was only a girl thing and it was something very unfair, first for boys, but also for girls because if they protect themselves, they are also more protected.

What is the risk for children of getting HPV?

This vaccine directly protects children from developing cancers related to Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection such as cancer of the oropharynx (part of the throat behind the oral cavity), penile and anus. Oral and oropharyngeal cancer is among the ten most diagnosed in Spain with about 8 000 new cases per year,

Last year the Spanish Association of Pediatrics promoted a decalogue in which the reasons for recommending vaccination against HPV in men are indicated. Among them, that there is a very significant percentage of HPV-related cancers in men, that head and neck cancer and anal cancer are on the rise, especially in men, and that they are related to HPV.

Does vaccination really help?

Yes, because just vaccinating girls does not protect boys enough (and conversely, if you vaccinate boys you protect girls more). Vaccination has been shown to have an impact on male genital warts. I know this sounds terrible, but having it is much worse. So if your child is 12 years old, you're in luck. And if it is over 12 it is also advisable to administer it but remember that for this it will be necessary to request a prescription and buy it at the pharmacy.

Latest development: vaccine against bronchiolitis

In 2023 we have among us a new vaccine somewhat different from the usual ones: the vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus, the "author" of bronchiolitis. The Vaccine Advisory Committee is in favor of applying it to all children under six months and in risk groups up to two years, although for now it will not be done in all autonomous communities. The protocol states that children born from April to September are given a dose in October at the health center, and if they are born from October to March, a dose in the hospital before discharge.

Can the bronchiolitis vaccine buy at the pharmacy?

No, being a medicine classified as hospital dispensing it is not possible to acquire it in pharmacies, it will only be available in health centers.

What do we know about the Covid vaccine?

Coinciding with the start of the flu vaccination campaign, the third booster dose against Covid-19 will also begin to be administered to risk groups. That is, for people over 60, the chronically ill and socio-health personnel. The report with the 'Vaccination recommendations against influenza and Covid-19 in the 2023-2024 season in Spain', published almost two months ago and carried out taking into account the epidemiological situation at that time, recommends vaccination against Covid-19 in the autumn-winter season (2023-2024) to target population groups, and excludes the child and adult population that is not part of the target population.

  • Apothecary Garcia