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Spain was among a handful of EU countries to start vaccinating children under the age of 12 on Wednesday, a move which has prompted controversy over whether the youngest members of society are taking an unnecessary risk to protect others, reports James Badcock.

Spain is planning to vaccinate its 3.3 million inhabitants aged between five and 11, with the stated aim of “reducing transmission within families, schools and the community, contributing to the protection of the most vulnerable groups in society”.

Opponents say it is unfair on healthy children, who run almost zero risk of suffering serious illness from a Covid infection.

“We are saying that we are going to vaccinate children to bring down infection rates. For me that is unethical and something we’ve never done before,” said César Carballo, an emergency physician from Madrid’s Ramón y Cajal hospital.

Children with underlying health problems will be prioritised, and most Spanish regions are starting the general rollout with 10- and 11-year-olds before working down.

The gap between the Pfizer jabs is to be eight weeks, allowing time to reach the entire target group with one shot as quickly as possible.

Italy, Greece and Hungary have also today started campaigns to vaccinate the under-12s.



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