Covid19. On the way to the fourth dose of the vaccine, Graça Freitas is already speaking 5.

THE The health manager was at the RTP3 studios this Wednesday, where he talked about the anticipation of the fourth dose of the vaccine – which is scheduled to be delivered next Monday instead of next fall – and also about some suspected cases of acute hepatitis.

“This confirmation [da vacina] would be issued now or later, closer to the winter seasonal wave, according to the evolution of the virus and epidemiology “, reiterated Graça Freitas, explaining that the virus monitoring team considered that a decision should be anticipated in recent days due to developments.

The official reiterated that those who are now given a second dose of booster should take a second dose in four to six months. “probable winter wave”. “The logic is: to provide people with the doses they need to be protected,” he said, referring to the vulnerable population. “The one who suffers the most from the consequences of the disease,” he recalled.

5th dose?

He also assured that the fifth dose had already been planned and always stressed that it all depended on the increase and number of cases, which is now higher. However, the director general of the health department said there was no certainty that this increase would be a new wave. “It turns out that this 5th wave rose very fast and was sharply down and started to get turns […]. We don’t know if at the moment [este aumento] is the variation of the fifth wave or if the sixth wave is about to begin “he explained.

When Graça Freitas was asked whether this increase in cases could be linked to the end of compulsory use of masks, Graça Freitas said that “there must be no obstruction or shame in wearing the mask”bearing in mind that the Deposit Guarantee Scheme recommends its use in certain non-mandatory situations.

Ómicron strain BA.5 and restrictions

In addition, it considered that the Ómicron conversion strain BA.5 is becoming problematic. “It is forecast to reach about 80% of Ómicron’s variations within a few days, which is currently dominant”He also said warning that “variations can change the landscape from day to day.”

The official said he was still “considering and researching” that “people in their 60s or 65s” could also be included in “vulnerable groups” so that they too would be the first to get booster doses. “We’re looking at other countries, future studies, results from countries like Israel,” he explained.

When asked about the registered turnout this Thursday, he also spoke about free tests at Porto Hospital in São João. “The self-test is very inexpensive and is available from pharmacies. In case of doubt, it is recommended to take the test.”remembered.

Still, the possibility of having to impose restrictions, as the European Union has already warned, said it must be prepared for. “Because of the pattern of mobility, contacts and behavior, it is always necessary to make changes […]. The situation needs to be monitored very well and measures adapted to the situation.“, he said.

Finally, he also assured that the disease will not get worse despite the fact that more people have a positive test. “Currently, the most affected age group is 10-19 year olds and then 20-49 year olds,” he said.

Acute childhood hepatitis

In an interview, the CEO confirmed that they are so far, nine suspected cases of acute hepatitis. “It’s a diagnosis of exclusion […] – which often develops well in what has happened in Portugal, “admits that these are cases that can” always remain unclear “.” This is happening all over the world. There are over 300 cases and we know the picture. What is not known is the reason, “he explained.

I admit that the explanation was difficult, said there were no confirmed cases of acute hepatitis in Portugal, because it was necessary to find a reason for it. “Nine cases of this type of hepatitis have occurred recently, in children under 16 years of age, liver enzyme levels are elevated and no cause is found,” unlike other hepatitis where the virus is found, “e.g.

Read also: The former health minister says the increase in cases is not a cause for concern

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