Each year, the Vaccine Advisory Committee of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics publishes the vaccination schedule for children and adolescents, which includes the recommended vaccines for each age and risk group. The The calendar also specifies the number of doses to be administered and suggests a reactivation plan that varies according to each vaccine. However, the immunizations recommended by pediatricians include some that are not financed by the Spanish public health system.
This year, for the first time, the vaccination schedule does not distinguish between colors between vaccines financed by the health system and paid immunizations, a strategy of the Vaccine Advisory Committee to demand free and universal access to the vaccination system, whose cost currently rises from 800 to 1,000 euros per child.
Vaccines that are not financed by the Spanish health service
- Vaccine against rotavirus. This is the vaccine that protects infants against rotavirus, a common cause of acute gastroenteritis, so pediatricians recommend applying it in two or three doses. Its price ranges between 69 and 93 euros, depending on the laboratory.
- Vaccine against meningococcus B. The financing of this vaccine was ruled out as it was considered that it did not meet the effectiveness criteria and security. However, pediatricians recommend applying the meningococcal vaccine at 3 and 5 months and then at 12 and 15 months of age. Each unit has a price of around 105 euros.
- Tetravalent vaccine. Pediatricians recommend the use of the tetravalent vaccine against meningococcus A, C, W and Y at 12 months of life, as a substitute for the triple viral for the second immunization. Its price is around 55 euros.
- Vaccine against the human papillomavirus. Public health finances the vaccine against the human papillomavirus in the case of girls, but it doesn’t when it comes to boys. The unit of this vaccine is around 120 and 155 euros, depending on the laboratory.
- Vaccine against whooping cough. The reactivation of the vaccine for whooping cough recommended for between 12 and 14 years is not financed by public health. This vaccine for adolescents costs approximately 30 euros.
It is worth noting that some autonomous communities, such as Andalusia, the Canary Islands or Castilla y León do finance some of these vaccines for their residents, such as the immunization against meningococcus B.
Lights and shadows of the financing of the childhood vaccination schedule
The Vaccine Advisory Committee of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics maintains that the schedule approved by the Public Health Commission of the Interterritorial Council of the The National Health System is drawn up taking into account the effectiveness, efficiency and safety of these prevention mechanisms and the epidemiological studies of vaccine-preventable diseases in Spain. It ensures that it is a very complete and effective calendar, but that its objective lies in reaching excellence and offering all recommended immunizations free of charge.
While the subsidy of these vaccines is decided, the Spanish Association of Pediatrics recommends implementing new ways financing, such as copay. According to this method, parents should pay only a percentage of the total cost of the vaccine since the other part would be subsidized by the government, as is now the case with disadvantaged groups such as pensioners or people living in a situation of economic risk .
Furthermore, the creation of a National Immunization Committee is recommended that not only includes administrations but also scientific societies and patients, with the aim of offering a much broader and more realistic perspective of the need for financing certain vaccines in childhood and adolescence.