Photo: BRUNO FILIPE PIRES/OPEN MEDIA GROUP

Covid-19: Portugal to vaccinate teachers on Saturday

Almost 80,000 teachers and other education staff in Portugal will be vaccinated against Covid-19 this weekend, Lusa news agency reported.

Portugal’s Prime minister, Antonio Costa, and the minister of education, Tiago Brandão, will be accompanying the first day of vaccinations at 10.30 am on Saturday in the municipality of Odivelas, in Lisbon.

On Saturday afternoon, the Mayor of Lisbon, Fernando Medina, will be visiting the vaccination centre of Cidade Universitária, which opened this week, alongside the coordinator of the ‘task force’ for the vaccination plan against covid-19, Vice Admiral Henrique Gouveia e Melo.

In municipalities where there are less than 250 professionals to receive their first dose, the vaccinations will be carried out in health centres. In municipalities where there are between 250 and 500 professionals, the jabs will be carried out in schools, and in locations where there are more than 500 people, they will be carried out at vaccination centres, Lusa reported.

After this first phase, the vaccination programme for education professionals will continue progressively during the month of April.

According to the plan, professionals from the 2nd and 3rd cycles of basic education and secondary education begin to be vaccinated on the weekend of April 10 and 11. The process could be prolonged on the following weekends if necessary.

In total, the task force plans to vaccinate about 280,000 teachers and non-teaching staff from daycare centres to secondary education.

Teachers received a message on Wednesday asking if they wanted to receive the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and had a day to answer whether or not they want to be vaccinated. 

Those that didn’t respond or refused the vaccine lose priority, but the ministry of education has ensured they would not lose their place if for some reason they had not been contracted, Lusa reported.

On March 10, Portugal’s Directorate-General for Health included teachers and non-teaching staff, from the public and private sectors, in the priority groups of phase 1 for the vaccine against covid-19.

The vaccination of preschool and 1st cycle professionals should have started last weekend, but it was postponed due to the temporary suspension of the AstraZeneca vaccine.