Portuguese president urges young people to get vaccinated against COVID-19

Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa on Tuesday appealed to young people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, which he pointed out as the “great bet at this time” to contain the pandemic.

“Vaccination is the fundamental path, (and) this is the lasting solution to the pandemic. The other solutions are found punctually, temporarily, but the only one that is truly longer-lasting and effective is vaccination,” he told reporters.

According to the Portuguese head of state, with the advance of the “second dose for those over 60, who correspond to risk groups,” vaccination of the youngest should advance in “less than two months.”

“It’s a race against the clock. It’s not easy. We’re transitioning to summer, and that means changes of residence. People are mobile and young people are very mobile,” explained the president.

He added that young people “are on the move” especially in the summer period, calling on them “not to stop getting vaccinated” since it helps “solve the problem of the number of cases.”

“Fortunately, we have a number of deaths ranging from zero to six, we have a number of inpatients of a few hundred, less than 500 inpatients, and we have a number of intensive care that is far short of what existed in November last year,” he said.

Over 46 percent of the Portuguese population have been vaccinated so far, the health authorities said.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in an increasing number of countries with already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.