The standard of the Vaccination Campaign Against Covid-19, updated on 4 August by the General Directorate of Health (DGS) also determines transplantation and immunosuppression as priority diseases for vaccination.

According to the standard, neurological diseases are also included, which include cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophies, developmental disorders such as Trisomy 21 and severe and profound intellectual development disorders. Chronic lung disease, chronic respiratory disease such as severe asthma, and cystic fibrosis are also among the top priorities.

“In the case of adults unable to consent, authorisation must be obtained from the legal representative”, adds the ordinance.

On Friday, the DGS recommended priority vaccination against Covid-19 for children aged 12 to 15 with associated comorbidities that could lead to serious illness or death, clarifying later that healthy kids need a prescription to be vaccinated.

Universal vaccination continues to be recommended only over 16 years old, following the ongoing vaccination plan.

The currently updated standard also states that for pregnant women aged 16 or over, a medical prescription is not required, and, despite the recommendation to be vaccinated from 21 weeks of gestation onwards, after the morphological ultrasound has been carried out, “there is no limit gestational age for initiation of vaccination”.

The DGS also emphasizes that, if the vaccination scheme is started, without prior knowledge of the pregnancy situation, it must be completed within the recommended interval, regardless of the gestational age and the performance of the morphological ultrasound.

Vaccination against Covid-19 in pregnant women should be at least 14 days apart from the administration of other vaccines, such as whooping cough and flu.

The DGS states that pregnant women constitute a group at increased risk for severe forms of Covid-19, when compared to non-pregnant women of the same age, with the risk of serious illness being higher in the third trimester of pregnancy.

“On the other hand, Covid-19 has also been associated with adverse obstetric and neonatal outcomes resulting mainly from the higher rate of preterm birth”, DGS said.

Although the scientific evidence (information) on the safety and efficacy of vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 in pregnancy is still limited, “all available vaccines against covid-19 use non-activated virus technologies, so they are not additional risks to be expected during pregnancy and birth”.

Data collected by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control showed no significant differences in pregnancy outcomes in vaccinated women, in more than 100,000 records analyzed.

“Thus, the expected benefits outweigh the (theoretical) risks for the pregnant woman and the fetus, the benefit being greater in the presence of high exposure to SARS-CoV-2 and risk pathologies”, stresses the DGS.