The Directorate-General of Health (DGS) recommended this Friday the vaccination for young people aged between 12 and 15 years, who present comorbidities, postponing the decision to vaccinate the others until new data on the effects of vaccine.
Miguel Prudêncio, a specialist in vaccination at the Molecular Institute, also praised the decision of the general director of Health, Graça Freitas, to take “a prudent decision” in relation to a population that has a risk “very small” to have serious complications from covid-19.
This is a prudent and correct decision, since this is a population for whom the risk of serious complications from covid is very low. For this reason, the benefit of vaccination for these children is also reduced”, he explained.
On when the data needed to assess the effects of the vaccine will be available, the expert explained that this information will gradually emerge, as soon as countries that are vaccinating children begin to make this information public. However, he emphasizes that it is difficult to advance a specific date because it is “of an ongoing process”.
Asked if there might be any skepticism of parents about vaccinating their children if the DGS authorizes them to take the vaccine, Miguel Prudêncio de-dramatized the issue and guaranteed that the entire vaccination process in Portugal has been guided by “hard data and scientific evidence”.
If there is one thing that has characterized this process, it has been prudence, constant monitoring and security-based decision-making. With recommendation, parents should not be afraid”, he stressed.
Miguel Prudêncio also spoke about the possible need to take a booster of two-dose vaccines, as is the case with Pfizer, explaining that, at this time, “there is no data that allows us to say that a third dose is necessary, let alone say that this dose is needed immediately”.
The immunity with two doses is robust and long lasting”, he said.
Regarding studies that claim the same in relation to single-dose vaccines, such as Janssen’s, Prudencio explained that these data refer to laboratory tests carried out in vitro, which “is not the same thing as real world data”, which doesn’t yet exist.
It cannot be inferred that Janssen’s vaccine has no efficacy against the Delta variant or that this efficacy is reduced. Once again, the data we have does not allow us to say that”, reinforced.
If the booster becomes necessary, the expert explained that it is possible to take a second dose with a vaccine from another pharmacist, since it has been proven that this does not pose any danger to health.