In an interview with Lusa agency, Válter Fonseca, coordinator of the technical committee, an advisory body of the Directorate-General for Health (DGS), said that the opinion is being prepared and “it will naturally be known so that the vaccination planning can be done in a timely manner. ", as has been done since the beginning of the campaign. “An opinion will be issued (…) in a timely manner and to protect public health, in the most appropriate timings, also depending on the evolution of the vaccination coverage of the rest of the population, which continues to be our priority”, he added.
The official spoke after the regional authorities of Madeira have announced that the region will start vaccinating students from 12 years old so that they can start the next school year immunised. However, in statements to the Lusa agency, the coordinator of the vaccination technical committee insisted: “The vaccination of adults with a complete vaccination schedule continues to be our best strategy, as of today, with the data we have, to achieve a better possible control of the transmission”.
On the increase in cases of infection in Portugal, when less than 40 percent of the Portuguese population having the complete vaccination, Válter Fonseca recalled that vaccines are not 100 percent effective and that all protection measures must be maintained. “But it's not the vaccinated people who are getting infected. This is also important to clarify”, he underlined. The responsible also read the current cases, explaining: "When we look at the curve of new cases and then deconstruct them into age groups, we can see that it has two parts - one part, especially above 50, where there are very few cases , and a part, before the age of 50, where most of the cases are found”.
Válter Fonseca recalled that the priority "continues to be the vaccination of adult age groups with a complete schedule", to try to control the transmission of the new coronavirus, stressing that, as vaccines are not completely effective, it is important to use "all measures simultaneously" , pointing out, in particular, the use of masks, physical distance and hand hygiene.