The Deputy Secretary of State and Health considers that “there is nothing to make mandatory” if adherence to vaccination against a covid-19 is maintained, noting that the Portuguese adhere “historically and culturally” to vaccination. About the vaccination of children, Lacerda Sales says expect parents of children under 12 to give their vaccinations if approved by health authorities.
“In my perspective, I think that if we continue with the example of citizenship that we are seeing here today, with the example of citizenship that we have seen in the Portuguese over these months of vaccination, I think there is nothing to make mandatory, because the Portuguese adhere to these awareness messages by themselves, “said Lacerda Sales.
The government official spoke to journalists after visiting the vaccination center against covid-19 in Leiria and after being asked about the statements made by the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who said today, given the “so great” adherence to vaccination, that “in Portugal the question” of having to be mandatory does not arise.
Without commenting on the words of the head of state, António Lacerda Sales argued that he is not yet a “lawyer nor a constitutionalist” to comment on this matter.
However, he highlighted that “the Portuguese have a culture of very high awareness of vaccination and it is historic, it is not new”.
“We have a vaccination plan with a coverage of over 97.98 percent. Therefore, the Portuguese are used to adhere to vaccination, adhere to vaccination historically and culturally,” he continued.
António Sales also highlighted that “the goal of a million and a half people vaccinated” was reached with a booster dose against the new coronavirus “14 days before” the date to which the Government had committed itself.
“This is due, in fact, to such a huge effort in technology and a huge effort by the Portuguese”, referring that “this time cushion” allows “to vaccinate, by Christmas, more people within the eligible bands”, so that “there are the least possible impact on the Christmas season on families” and also “the least possible impact on health services”.
Vaccination of children: “I hope there is adherence by the parents”
When asked if this degree of adherence is expected, if the General Directorate of Health intends to vaccinate children under 12 years of age, the Secretary of State replied that the opinion of the Technical Commission on Vaccination is first necessary.
“I also hope that there is great adherence on the part of the children’s parents, because we are talking about children still without autonomy to be able to decide”, he pointed out, stressing that the vaccination “is done safely and is effective, that’s what it is important “.
Today begins the first of four days of vaccination for people over 50 who have been vaccinated with the Janssen vaccine.
Vaccination for this group continues on December 8th and the following Sundays, December 12th and 19th.
The President of the Republic today declared himself happy with the Portuguese adhesion to vaccination against covid-19, “without the need for mandatory vaccination”, and stated that he expects the same for children, noting that he is dependent on the health authorities.
“I am happy to know that the vaccination of tens of thousands of Portuguese is planned today and that adherence is so great that the issue of mandatory vaccination does not arise in Portugal. The Portuguese understand that they should be vaccinated, without the need for mandatory vaccination”, owed the head of State to journalists, in Cascais, Lisbon.
Portugal has already administered more than 1.5 million booster doses of the covid-19 vaccine and more than 2.06 million doses against the flu, the Directorate-General for Health announced today.