Your vaccines in Barcelona
Vaccine monitoring is not always easy, especially for expatriates living in Spain, where the regulations are not the same as in their country of origin. No worries! The medical team at Turó Park Dental & Medical Center can help you see things clearer and administer the vaccinations or boosters you need according to your situation.
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How do vaccines work?
Vaccination is a way to protect individuals against the development of certain infectious diseases caused by microbes (bacteria or viruses). During a vaccination, a killed or attenuated microbe, or a toxin rendered inactive, is injected into the body. The microbe, which has lost its infectious character, does not cause the disease, however, the body recognizes it as if it were active and makes antibodies to eliminate it.
The immune system retains the memory of these antibodies. Thus, if the active microbe were to reappear later, the body would be able to more quickly make the appropriate antibodies to fight the microbe and prevent the onset of the disease.
A different vaccination policy among European countries
Vaccination regulations vary across the European Union. While some countries opt for an obligation, as in France or Italy, many states choose to act on the recommendation side. In Spain, no vaccine is compulsory, but this does not prevent good vaccination coverage throughout the country, since 95% of children under two years of age are in compliance with the vaccination schedule. In fact, the government recommends several vaccines that are completely free of charge for patients and others that are not financially supported.
Vaccination schedule in Spain
In Spain, there is a unique vaccination calendar that includes various vaccines recommended for the following diseases: polio, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, meningitis due to Haemophilus influenzae type b or meningococcus C, measles, rubella, parotiditis, hepatitis B, chicken pox, human papillomavirus (HPV), pneumococcal infections and influenza.
It should be noted, however, that some Autonomous Communities have a more complete vaccination schedule.
Vaccines in Catalonia
Among the vaccines reimbursed in Catalonia are those against diphtheria, poliomyelitis, tetanus, Haemophilus influenzae B, measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, hepatitis B, meningococcus C and ACWY, varicella, papillomavirus and pneumococcus. Catalonia also finances the one against hepatitis A, unlike other regions in Spain.
Some vaccines are also recommended but paid for, such as those against meningococcus B and rotavirus.
Small reminder about chickenpox
It should not be forgotten that in Spain, children are vaccinated against chickenpox. Therefore, if you have moved to Spain with your children over the age of four, you should consider vaccinating them around the age of 12 if necessary. Because your children are unlikely to be in contact with the varicella-zoster virus in Spain and therefore will have little chance to become immune naturally.
Vaccination policy in public educational institutions
Although vaccinations are not compulsory in Catalonia, when you enroll your child in a public nursery or school, you must present the minor's vaccination record, which must be up to date. Until now, failure to comply with this rule did not justify exclusion. However, in January 2019, the courts approved a daycare center's decision to refuse to enroll an unvaccinated child, creating a legal precedent and opening the door to the obligation for any child enrolled in a public education center to be vaccinated.
Monitoring of your mandatory and non-mandatory vaccinations at Turó Park Clinic Barcelona
At your Turó Park medical center, doctors are there to make sure your vaccination record is up to date. The clinic has French-speaking specialists, which makes the process easier. They can explain to you in detail the differences between the vaccination policies of each country, but also clarify the names of the diseases. Not everyone knows that the word "sarampión" in Spanish refers to measles or that "tos ferina" means whooping cough.
Vaccines also often have names that are not always easy to follow. In the following, we will give you a small glossary of the main vaccines marketed in Spain. At Turó Park Dental & Medical Center in Barcelona, you will find a pediatrician who will carefully and completely monitor your child's vaccination schedule, even if your child has lived his or her first years in a country other than Spain.
The need to respect the vaccination schedule is not only for children. It is also important for adults to have an up-to-date vaccination record, especially for pregnant women, people over sixty years old, and those about to travel to faraway places.
At your Turó Park Dental & Medical center, our general practitioners, gynecologists or travel medicine specialist help you and answer any questions you may have about the vaccination schedule to follow.
Practical glossary of the commercial names of vaccines in Spain
Here is a short guide to help you associate the name of the vaccine with the disease for which it is prescribed. The Spanish translation is in italics.
- BCG: tuberculosis (tuberculosis)
- INFANRIX HEXA, HEXYON: poliomyelitis (poliomielitis), diphtheria (difteria), tetanus (tetanus), whooping cough (tos ferina), haemophilus influenzae B (haemophilus influenzae tipo b), hepatitis B (hepatitis B)
- PRIORIX, MMR VAX: measles, mumps, rubella (sarampión, parotidis, rubeola)
- PREVENAR 13: pneumococcus (neumococo)
- NEISVAC, MENINGITEC, MENJUGATE Kit: meningococos C
- ENGERIX B, HBVAX pro: Hepatitis B alone (hepatitis B)
- GARDASIL and CERVARIX: papillomavirus or HPV (virus del papiloma human)
- VARIVAX: chickenpox (varicella)
- VAXIGRIG, INFLUVAC: influenza (flu)
- BEXSERO: meningococcus B (meningococos B)
Do not hesitate to contact us by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (+34 932 529 729), if you need more information. We will be happy to inform you (in English!).
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