Asked whether immunity caused by the vaccine has safety problems, the researcher said that the information available is that "all those equations" that were put forward as potential side effects to vaccines are not occurring.
"The indications are that the available data for all the vaccines we have present only indicate that the side effects are the side effects of a stimulation of the immune system. So, one more piece of advice for people back home, don't be afraid because immunity won't create completely foreign side effects in your life," he stressed at the meeting, where experts take stock of the measures taken to combat Covid-19 and look at how the disease is developing in the country.
For the researcher, immunity must continue to be assessed once the vaccine is on the market.
João Gonçalves also asked people not to be afraid of how quickly the vaccine was achieved, noting that "all the necessary stages in the development of vaccines" have been accomplished.
So, he argued, "monitoring is important, and Infarmed will certainly have guidance for that, but monitoring this immunity and the resistance we will have to the vaccines will be very important".
In short, the researcher said that all that is known about the benefits of immunity to the vaccine, "clearly outweigh the risks of non-vaccination, we will have a lower risk of the disease, we will have some side effects and we will have a reduction in transmission".
"This is certainly very important and it would be very bad for science, very bad for humanity, if we after eight months of terrible and intense work from the social and research point of view could not have all this immunity here well established and capable of protecting us against this virus", he stressed.
On the effectiveness of the vaccines, the expert warned that "there will potentially be a lot of variation from person to person".
In the same vein, the vaccine's immunity will vary from person to person. In the case of age, for example, it is likely that the elderly will have less immunity.
Given that the vaccine will not create immunity for everyone and that it is not yet known when group immunity will be created, João Gonçalves leaves a warning: "The homework is not finished yet!”
In his speech, António Roldão, from the Institute of Experimental Biology and Technology, said that the 21st century alone has seen some 20 outbreaks of infectious diseases.