Covid-19: 60% say children should be vaccinated as soon as possible
According to a recent survey, the majority of Portuguese (61%) agree with the vaccination of children between 5 and 11 years old against covid-19, and that it should be done as soon as possible.
The online Scheduling Portal to vaccinate children aged 10 and 11 has been open since the end of Monday, with over 27,000 appointments having been scheduled for December 18th and 19th.
According to the schedule presented by the Government for the vaccination of children, from January 6th to 9th those aged between 9 and 7 will be vaccinated. January 15th and 16th has been reserved to vaccinate children aged 6 and 7 years old, and on Janaury 22nd and 23rd those aged 5 years will be vaccinated.
Between February 5th and March 13th, the second doses will be administered, which the Government calculates will mean more than 600,000 children will then have complete vaccination.
Children with diseases/illnesses that make them high risk are given priority, regardless of age, as long as they have a medical prescription, they can just attend one of the vaccination centres to receive their first covid vaccination.
There are estimated to be 638,000 eligible children between the ages of 5 and 11 to vaccinate, but an estimated 300,000 have already been in contact with the virus. However, and taking into account the “individual and public health” benefits ascertained by the Technical Commission on Vaccination for Covid-19 (CTVC), the recommendation of the Directorate-General for Health is still to vaccinate all children.
As of December 5, there were 69,763 cases of covid registered in the 5-11 age group , but this number “is just the tip of the iceberg”, stresses Manuel Carmo Gomes, from CTVC. There are thought to be thousands of children who have no symptoms and so are not detected. “Right now we have an average of 450 cases per day in this age group, it will increase in January, and people should be concerned about this”, said Gomes.
The decision to vaccinate children against covid-19 continues to divide medical and scientific opinions, including in Portugal. Most countries have chosen not to vaccinate children under the age of twelve, but as the number of infections increases and since the Omicron variant has been detected, the number of countries that are extending their plans for vaccination for this age group has increased.
DISCUSS: Do you agree with the majority? Do you think children pose a threat to the adult population if they are not vaccinated? Do we have enough information regarding the safety of these vaccines to be using them on young children already?
Original article available in Portuguese at http://postal.pt/