“We want to prioritise and we want to speed up the vaccination process in this age group and vaccinate adolescents and young people as quickly as possible,” said Ana Gouveia, coordinator of the archipelago's Vaccination Centres to journalists. The second 'open day' for this age group started at 9am and continues until 6pm, at the Funchal Vaccination Center, installed at Madeira Tecnopolo, but, contrary to what happened on Saturday, today it has not had long lines and the process has run smoothly. “It went wonderfully well, it was fast, it was better than I expected,” said 14-year-old Lusa Eva Baptista to the agency, who went to the vaccination center accompanied by her mother.
“ The young woman stressed that she was not afraid, stressing that she had wanted to be vaccinated against Covid-19 for some time and that now she feels “completely safer”. “I think it's everyone's duty to be vaccinated and I enjoyed doing my part,” she said, counting on the support of her mother, Sónia Xavier, for whom vaccination is “important for everyone.”
Regional authorities estimate they need to inoculate about 20 thousand young people and teenagers to allow the start of the new school year safely, and the vaccine used in this age group is Pfizer. “We are very proud that our young people are adhering so well to this vaccination and the parents who advise them”, said Ana Gouveia. The coordinator of the Vaccination Centers said that, in total, 1,860 young people and adolescents have been inoculated, of which 1,200 in the first 'open day'.
The health authorities have scheduled another 'open day' for this age group for Friday, but the process also takes place any day of the week in the 11 municipalities in the region, with or without prior appointment, and always in the presence of a legal guardian . “I advise people to take the vaccine, it really doesn't cost anything,” Afonso Matias, 16, told Lusa, adding: “It's really not worth it to be nervous. You don't feel anything and I feel safer now.” At the side, his father, Paulo Bettencourt, reinforces that vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 is “a duty”. “I didn't hesitate,” he said. And he explained: “The family decided that this should be the case. I've also been vaccinated, I think it's important. The entire population should adjust to vaccination, otherwise we will never put an end to this problem”.
Iara Beatriz, 16, is of the same opinion: "We have to choose our health and public health", she said, stressing that taking the vaccine is "easy and not painful". On the side, 15-year-old Leonor Mota explains that “it's just a mince”. “I think it's very important for people to stay safe and that way we're going to get rid of the virus,” she said, saying she was “completely prepared” for the second dose.
According to the most recent data from the Regional Directorate of Health, Madeira, with about 250,000 inhabitants, has already administered 305,773 vaccines against covid-19 since December 2020, with 56 percent of the resident population already having full vaccination and 69 percent started vaccination, out of an eligible total of 175 thousand users.