Graça Freitas explained that the decision comes after analysing “new data made available in recent days”, specifically the impacts recorded on “more than 15 million adolescents vaccinated in the United States and the European Union” that revealed to be “extremely rare” cases of myocarditis and pericarditis.
Taking into account the new data, the DGS has decided to extend the vaccine against Covid-19 to all young people in this age group, which should start being administered soon.
Regarding the possibility that the youngsters - around 400,000 - will start to be vaccinated against Covid-19 before the start of the school year, Graça Freitas said she hopes that this will happen, but if it starts a few days after the start of classes, “it will not have a major negative impact” on health.
This age group - between 12 and 15 years - will have to be accompanied by their parents or a legal guardian to be vaccinated.
Taking into account the studies carried out so far, young Portuguese should be vaccinated with two doses, and only the two vaccines licensed for this age group will be used, underlined Graça Freitas.
Luís Graça, member of the Covid-19 Technical Commission on Vaccination and present at the press conference, recalled that in this age group the effects of the disease are not serious and that is why the vaccination of young people is aimed at “reducing the transmission of the virus” and ensuring the well-being of this age group.
Luís Graça explained that for this age group that does not have other diseases, the “greatest benefit they receive [from being vaccinated] is from their mental, social and educational health well-being”.
Both the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, and the coordinator of the task force of the vaccination plan against Covid-19, Gouveia e Melo, have defended the importance of vaccinating young people from the age of 12 onwards.