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Covid-19: “Rapid Review” of Regulation on Youth Vaccination

COVID-19: The President of the Medical Association, Miguel Guimarães, announced yesterday that he considers that the suggestion by the Directorate-General of Health on the vaccination of young people creates inequalities and contributes to a lack of order in the vaccination process, calling for a “rapid revision”,.

The DGS recommended, on Friday, the priority administration of vaccines against Covid-19 for children between 12 and 15 years old with high risk diseases. and the president Miguel Guimarães pointed out that the recommendation does not specify the diseases that should be considered priority in young people for vaccination.

Miguel Guimarães said that the suggestion of the General Directorate of Health (DGS) is creating “brutal inequalities” between children and families who can go to the doctor and have access to a prescription so they can be vaccinated, and those that don’t.

This at a time when access to health has been very conditioned and all resources should be focused on the recovery of patients and not on another bureaucratic procedure, defended the president.

This situation, reported Miguel Guimarães, has already generated several complaints to the Medical Association by health centres saying that there are many parents calling to find out what they have to do to vaccinate their children between 12 and 15 years old “and the doctors don’t really know what to do”.

According to Miguel Guimarães, the guideline was not received among health professionals in a clear way, with some experts welcoming it, but later criticising this conditional access.

“The process has to be managed in a universal and agile way, as it is essential in the fight against a pandemic”, he defended.

For these reasons, the president has called for “a quick review of this decision”, in order to clarify and “strengthen confidence in the scientific evidence and in the wide experience that already exists, protecting the youngest from the physical, psychological and social threat posed by this virus”.

The DGS has already stated that “it will issue recommendations on universal vaccination of adolescents aged 12-15 years as soon as additional data on vaccination in these age groups are available”, noting that, even with medical indication, vaccination must respect the age groups. “In the case of minors, vaccination is discussed with the parents or representatives/legal guardians”, says the DGS in a clarification that cites the suggestion issued on Friday.

Universal vaccination continues, for the time being, to be recommended only for those above the age of 16, following the ongoing vaccination plan. DGS has not, however, ruled out future changes if there are “new variants of concern”.