“Like last year, there is currently a monitoring structure between the DGS and the Directorate-General of Schools, that is, between health and education, to answer the questions that arise from the schools”, he began for saying Mariana Vieira da Silva.
“At the end of July, we presented here a calendar in which it was said that reaching 80% of the population fully vaccinated we would have a set of rules, most of which have already been indicated in the Council of Ministers. That date is getting closer, as we have almost 85% with a dose of vaccine,” he pointed out.
Therefore, according to the minister, “the Government’s intention is to hold a new Infarmed meeting to debate this new level and the measures that must be adopted at this time, and it is clear that we will live with mandatory measures and recommendations from the DGS regarding some stories,” he said
“I am able to say that probably within three weeks we will reach this value [85% da população com vacinação completa] and that, at that time, the Government will be in a position to take the decisions, having already listened to the experts at that time,” added the minister.
However, he stressed that “it is up to each one of us to know what is recommended and comply with what is recommended by public health”.
Asked about the issue of recommending masks in specific contexts, the minister said that “so far, in some situations, we live with rules approved by resolution of the Council of Ministers, by decree-law or by law” and that “in some of the topics, reaching 85%, we can reach a situation in which this obligation no longer exists and there is a set of recommendations from the DGS”.
Regarding the apparent uncertainty surrounding the use of the protective mask against the spread of covid-19 in the school playground, Mariana Vieira da Silva sent the clarification of doubts to the Ministry of Education and the DGS, noting that there is “a structure of monitoring” that brings together the two spheres, as in 2020. “The reference is known and it is now up to the DGS and the Ministry of Education to answer the doubts”, he noted.
In this sense, “the street mask is no longer mandatory”, it is up to the DGS to “detail” the circumstances in which this measure of individual protection is advised.
Regarding the end of measures to combat covid-19, Mariana Vieira da Silva stressed that “we cannot, at this moment, assume that there will be a total end to the restrictions”, since “we cannot yet declare the end of the pandemic”. However, the level of vaccination reached “allows to alleviate some of these restrictions”, being necessary “a technical debate” before releasing the guidelines.
Closing of vaccination centers
At the press conference, the Minister of State and the Presidency was also asked about the closing of the vaccination centers and the centralization of this competence in the health centers, having stated that “obviously the NHS will be prepared for when this decision is taken because there are many years that the vaccination of the entire population, of all children at the right ages, is guaranteed”.
“What we had was a very quick and very significant vaccination, at the end of this process the decision will be taken when it is certain that it can be taken and everything will be prepared for this transition”, he continued.
As for the vaccination centers that could be used for the flu vaccination campaign, Mariana Vieira da Silva noted that “the number of vaccines that were given in this process is not comparable, two doses for 85% of the total Portuguese population, with the flu vaccination at any time and in view of the populations that this vaccination is normally aimed at”, pointing out that they are not “minimally similar universes”.