Third doses of covid-19 vaccine start next week – ZAP

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Tiago Petinga / Lusa

The booster doses of the covid-19 vaccine will be given from next week to people over 80 and users of homes and long-term care networks.

Portugal reached a vaccination rate against covid-19 “in the order of 85%”, said this Friday the director general of Health, Graça Freitas.

“Covid vaccination is unequivocally a success”, shot. “We are in one of the best countries in the world, if not the best”.

In addition to Graça Freitas, at the press conference of the Directorate-General for Health (DGS), on the current status of vaccination against covid-19 and against influenza, the person responsible for the Epidemiological Research Unit of the Department of Epidemiology of the Doctor Ricardo Jorge National Health Institute (INSA), Balthazar Nunes.

With nearly two years of pandemic, the responsible of the DGS referred to the current “mild to moderate epidemic activity, which is very good”.

“We always had this question: first to know if the vaccine was immunogenic, if it gives us immunity; then, how long does this immunity last and how long does the protection last”, he began by saying.

“What studies have indicated is that, in fact, over time, especially in some groups, there is an attenuation of this protection. There is a decay of this protection. It is good to say that people are not left unprotected. People continue to have protection. They don’t have optimal protection, which we want them to have in a pandemic context,” he continued.

Baltazar Nunes added that the “effectiveness against symptomatic disease decreases to about 30%, 40% after 5 months”.

As such, Graça Freitas said that the administration of the third dose to immunodepressed patients is already being prepared.

“We are going to start the third dose or booster dose for people aged 65 and over, with priority for people over 80 years old and users of homes and continuous care network”, said the Director-General of Health. The administration of the extra dose begins next week.

The standard of the DGS will be published this Friday, not being advanced for now a specific day for the beginning of the booster of the vaccine. Will be need wait 14 days between taking the covid-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine.

The director-general of Health said that the priority of the DGS is to “strengthen the vaccination of the elderly”, the booster dose for recovered patients is not yet planned.

Graça Freitas highlighted that the “co-administration” of covid-19 vaccines and the flu it would be “much more convenient”, but that for now is just a wish. However, he hopes that the World Health Organization (WHO) will soon give the “green light” to this procedure.

As for the flu vaccine, they have already been made 130 thousand inoculations, 60,000 of these in people aged 80 and over. “The country has never had so many flu vaccines as this year, there are more than three million”, said Graça Freitas.

efeb20e116d36b229fc2938a72878d80 Third doses of covid-19 vaccine start next week - ZAP Daniel Costa, ZAP //