“I don't want to go forward with an opinion on this matter. It is a matter for the Government to make a decision on, not for the President to decide on, but it is clear that I understand the Government's concern”, said Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa in Melgaço, Viana do Castelo, at the end of the Jean-Loup Passek Awards ceremony, at the closing of the 2021 edition of MDOC – Melgaço International Documentary Festival.

Asked about the Government's intention to carry out a serological testing campaign, particularly in homes, related to the assessment of the need to administer a third dose of the vaccine against Covid-19, the Head of State pointed out “the example of health professionals , teachers and other sectors that were vaccinated in the first place, it will take six months to guarantee basic services”.

“It is necessary to monitor the antibodies. Are the antibodies kept at the same degree, or not? Until now, the common opinion is that the presence of antibodies will last, but it needs to be verified. How is this done? With serological tests that make it possible to determine how the resistance caused by the vaccine is. I agree with that, it is a point that makes sense”, said Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.

The President of the Republic recalled that the beginning of the school year is approaching, which should take place “under the best conditions of public health, but also under the best educational conditions”. “With regards to 16 and 17 year olds who are going to be vaccinated, I would like to reinforce the appeal of Vice Admiral Gouveia e Melo (coordinator of the 'task force' that manages the vaccination process against Covid-19). I know that when you're 16 or 17, there's no one who doesn't consider themselves eternal. I considered myself eternal and considered that problems of a certain nature were not so urgent or pressing. I realize that the debate itself, a few weeks ago, about whether or not there should be vaccination for 16 and 17 years old, led many young people to say that it was not worth it. I urge you to think that you can make a difference to your health and your next school year. We have already had two very complicated academic years”, he highlighted.

When asked about the increase in the number of outbreaks in homes, the head of state said there is "a normal side" to this situation, calling for "attentive monitoring". "It is evident that after six months of vaccination, fringes of the population that was not vaccinated appear, even in risk groups or in which there are, as in other vaccines, cases of contagion, which is what is happening in cases isolated in homes.These are not exactly generalised cases”, he said.