In an advance that marks a significant evolution in pediatric care in Spain, the Spanish Association of Pediatrics (AEP) has published its latest Immunization Schedule with recommendations that remain consistent from the previous year, but with a notable addition. The 2024 schedule, detailed in the Journal ‘Anales de Pediatría’, includes the usage of a monoclonal antibody for the prevention of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) disease. DOI: 10.1016/j.anpede.2023.12.003.

As per the editorial team led by Dr. Francisco José Álvarez García, the 2024 AEP Immunization Calendar is a comprehensive guide intended for pregnant women, infants, children, and adolescents residing in Spain. This rollout marks the 25th edition of the AEP Immunization Calendar since its inception in 1995 and has been annual since 2003. In 2023, the term ‘Immunization Schedule’ was adopted, emphasizing the expansion beyond traditional vaccines to include treatments such as monoclonal antibodies.

The inclusion of a monoclonal antibody in the immunization schedule denotes not just a change in pediatric immunization strategies but also highlights the responsiveness of the healthcare system to emerging medical needs and technologies. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made molecules engineered to serve as substitute antibodies that can restore, enhance, or mimic the immune system’s attack on cells, in this case, targeting the RSV virus.

Dr. Álvarez García’s article, co-authored with esteemed pediatric healthcare professionals such as Antonio Iofrío de Arce, Javier Álvarez Aldeán, María Garcés-Sánchez, Elisa Garrote Llanos, Abián Montesdeoca Melián, Marisa Navarro Gómez, Valentín Pineda Solas, Irene Rivero Calle, Jesús Ruiz-Contreras, and Pepe Serrano Marchuet, signifies a collaborative effort to protect the younger Spanish population against vaccine-preventable diseases effectively.

RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms but can be serious, especially for infants and older adults. The monoclonal antibody’s inclusion in the schedule highlights the importance of preventing severe RSV disease, which has been a significant cause of hospitalization in children.

The rest of the recommendations stated within the schedule maintain consistency with the previous year’s schedule, ensuring that the core immunization strategy continues on a stable and reliable path. This steadfast approach underscores the determination of the AEP and the wider Spanish healthcare community to protect the health and well-being of children through established and well-researched immunization practices.

While the full text of the schedule is available for healthcare professionals and the public in ‘Anales de Pediatría’, the AEP emphasizes the importance of consulting with healthcare providers for personalized immunization strategies. Vaccination schedules can vary based on individual health conditions, allergies, and other factors that warrant professional medical advice.

The AEP schedule is an essential tool for pediatric healthcare providers, as it serves as a guide for adherence to best practices in safeguarding children against an array of diseases. The schedule’s release also serves to encourage parents to maintain current records of their children’s vaccinations and to remain informed about new immunization options.

As Spain’s pediatric immunization strategy advances, so does the commitment to fostering a healthier future for the country’s youth. The continuous adaptation and enhancement of immunization practices, as exhibited by the AEP, play a crucial role in reducing the prevalence of childhood diseases and improving public health outcomes.

References

1. Álvarez García, F. J., et al. (2024). Immunisation schedule of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics: 2024 recommendations. An Pediatr (Engl Ed), 100(1), 34–45. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anpede.2023.12.003

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection (RSV). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/rsv/index.html

3. Committee on Infectious Diseases. (2018). Red Book: 2018-2021 Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases. American Academy of Pediatrics.

4. Immunization Action Coalition. (2023). Immunization Schedules. Retrieved from https://www.immunize.org/schedules/

5. World Health Organization. (2023). Immunization, Vaccines, and Biologicals. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/teams/immunization-vaccines-and-biologicals

Keywords

1. Spanish Immunisation Schedule
2. Pediatric Immunization
3. RSV Prevention
4. Monoclonal Antibody
5. Childhood Vaccines