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Vaccination against Covid-19 and flu starts on September 7th. New vaccines tailored for Ómicron will now be available

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“As part of the guidance on Covid-19 and other respiratory viral infections in autumn-winter 22/23, next day 7 a seasonal vaccination campaign that will take place simultaneously against Covid-19 and influenza,” said Graça Freitas.

Vaccines will be administered at health centers and vaccination centers with “at least 397 points vaccination” from north to south of the country, in nursing homes and in nursing homes.

According to Colonel Carlos Peña-Gonçalves, in charge of the Coordinating Support Core of the Ministry of Health, the autumn vaccination campaign addressed to “three million people” and has an expected period of 100 days, They are expected to end on December 17th. In total, it will be possible to vaccinate 280,000 people a week, he guaranteed.

The Director-General of Health also emphasized that “this campaign will use adapted Covid-19 vaccines containing the parent strain and the Ómicron variant approved yesterday by the EMA from the very beginning. [Agência Europeia de Medicamentos]given that these vaccines have an efficacy and safety profile adapted to the current Sars-COV-2 variants in circulation.” These new vaccines are due to arrive in Portugal on 6 September.

“The campaign starts with vaccination people aged 80 and over and people with medical conditionswith comorbidities,” the official said.

“In this sense, the DGS has heard from the Covid Vaccine Technical Commission and other experts, namely influenza-related experts, and recommends seasonal Covid-19 and influenza vaccination for populations at higher risk,” Graça stressed. he has “a goal to maximize his defense in the coming months”.

These are the groups that should be vaccinated against covid-19:

  • persons aged 60 and over;
  • Residents and professionals in residential institutions for the elderly and in the National Continuing Care Network;
  • People aged 12 years and older with risk pathologies defined in the standard;
  • Pregnant women aged 18 years and over with pre-existing medical conditions;
  • Health professionals and other health care providers;
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Who has a complete vaccination schedule, receives a seasonal vaccine with “at least three months after the last dose or infectionto ensure that no one is left unprotected.” However, Graça Freitas noted that people eligible for this seasonal vaccine “only take this dose, regardless of previous boosters”. Thus, it is the primary vaccination schedule that matters, not subsequent booster vaccinations.

However, for those who do not have a first vaccination regimen, i.e. those who did not take the original two Covid-19 vaccines, “the only approved vaccines are the original ones.”

Graça Freitas explained that at the same time free flu vaccination campaignbut the groups change a bit:

  • persons aged 65 and over;
  • Residents and professionals in residential institutions for the elderly and in the National Continuing Care Network;
  • People from the age of six months with risk pathologies defined in the standard;
  • Pregnant women, no age restrictions;
  • Health professionals and other health care providers;

As in the past, these two vaccines are recommended when administered together, i.e. “whoever wants, and this is what we recommend, will be given at the same time inoculations in different limbs, that is, one in the right arm and the other in left.”

“This practice of administering both vaccines at the same time is safe and effective,” Graça Freitas said.

Regarding the influenza vaccine, the director general of the Ministry of Health said that “for the first time, a high-dose vaccine will be used, the antigenic composition of which is four times higher than the standard formula, which makes it more effective.” This vaccine, however, will only be used “in the most vulnerable, i.e. nursing home residents.

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The announcement of the strategy was launched last week by outgoing Health Minister Marta Temido, who said the dual-virus vaccination plan is aimed primarily at the most vulnerable populations in a context in which the government expects “an increase in demand for healthcare services in the coming months.”

Pending the release of this plan, Miguel Guimarães, chairman of the Ordem dos Médicos, said SAPO24 that going ahead with dual vaccination at this stage would mean “making two mistakes”.

If, on the one hand, we “vaccinate too early, because the effectiveness of vaccinations lasts three, maximum four months – in December it already loses its effectiveness, when the flu peak falls on December-February,” on the other hand, let’s go, the chairman was afraid of using version of the Covid vaccine, which will be “obsolete” within a month, because at the time of the conversation, a “new formula” was being developed, he said in a podcast “The Frog and the Scorpion”

Regarding the second point, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended this Thursday approval for two vaccines adapted to enhance protection against covid-19, namely a variant of the Ómicron virus.

The vaccines Cominarty (Pfizer/BioNTech) and Spikevax (Moderna), in an updated version adapted to protect against the Ómicron variant, are recommended for revaccination in people aged 12 years and older in the European Union (EU).

“We will now proceed with accelerated authorization of these vaccines to ensure their rapid deployment across the EU,” European Commissioner for Health Stella Kyriakides said in a statement.

In this presentation, the Director General of Health said that with respect to covid-19, Portugal is in an epidemiological situation “considered stable” and with high vaccination coverage, which has made it possible to “maintain the protection of the population”.

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Despite this, “we know that over time there may be a decrease in the protection provided by the covid-19 vaccine”, to which is added the possibility of changes in the strains of influenza viruses circulating each autumn period. winter, Graça Freitas emphasized.

The Director-General has called for vaccination as part of this campaign as a form of protection against serious forms of Covid-19 and the flu.

“We cannot forget that vaccines save lives. The advice that we give to everyone is that this autumn-winter, you can and should be vaccinated. All scientific and logistical conditions have been created for this,” the head of the Main Directorate of Health emphasized.

* with Lusa

[Notícia atualizada às 16:49]

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Vladimir Putin has delayed the invasion of Ukraine at least three times.

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Putin has repeatedly consulted with Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about the invasion, Europa Press told Ukraine’s chief intelligence director Vadim Skibitsky.

According to Skibitsky, it was the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which is responsible for counterintelligence and espionage work, that put pressure on Gerasimov and other military agencies to agree to launch an offensive. .

However, according to the Ukrainian intelligence services, the FSB considered that by the end of February sufficient preparations had already been made to guarantee the success of the Russian Armed Forces in a lightning invasion.

However, according to Kyiv, the Russian General Staff provided the Russian troops with supplies and ammunition for only three days, hoping that the offensive would be swift and immediately successful.

The head of Ukrainian intelligence also emphasized the cooperation of local residents, who always provided the Ukrainian authorities with up-to-date information about the Russian army, such as the number of soldiers or the exact location of troops.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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Life sentence for former Swedish official for spying for Russia

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A Stockholm court on Monday sentenced a former Swedish intelligence officer to life in prison for spying for Russia, and his brother to at least 12 years in prison. In what is considered one of the most serious cases in Swedish counterintelligence history, much of the trial took place behind closed doors in the name of national security.

According to the prosecution, it was Russian military intelligence, the GRU, who took advantage of the information provided by the two brothers between 2011 and their arrest at the end of 2021.

Peyman Kia, 42, has held many senior positions in the Swedish security apparatus, including the army and his country’s intelligence services (Säpo). His younger brother, Payam, 35, is accused of “participating in the planning” of the plot and of “managing contacts with Russia and the GRU, including passing on information and receiving financial rewards.”

Both men deny the charges, and their lawyers have demanded an acquittal on charges of “aggravated espionage,” according to the Swedish news agency TT.

The trial coincides with another case of alleged Russian espionage, with the arrest of the Russian-born couple in late November in a suburb of Stockholm by a police team arriving at dawn in a Blackhawk helicopter.

Research website Bellingcat identified them as Sergei Skvortsov and Elena Kulkova. The couple allegedly acted as sleeper agents for Moscow, having moved to Sweden in the late 1990s.

According to Swedish press reports, the couple ran companies specializing in the import and export of electronic components and industrial technology.

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The man was again detained at the end of November for “illegal intelligence activities.” His partner, suspected of being an accomplice, has been released but remains under investigation.

According to Swedish authorities, the arrests are not related to the trial of the Kia brothers.

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Ukraine admitted that Russia may announce a general mobilization

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“They can strengthen their positions. We understand that this can happen. At the same time, we do not rule out that they will announce a general mobilization,” Danilov said in an interview with the Ukrainska Pravda online publication.

Danilov believed that this mobilization would also be convened “to exterminate as many as possible” of Russian citizens, so that “they would no longer have any problems on their territory.”

In this sense, Danilov also reminded that Russia has not given up on securing control over Kyiv or the idea of ​​the complete “destruction” of Ukraine. “We have to be ready for anything,” he said.

“I want everyone to understand that [os russos] they have not given up on the idea of ​​destroying our nation. If they don’t have Kyiv in their hands, they won’t have anything in their hands, we must understand this,” continued Danilov, who also did not rule out that a new Russian offensive would come from “Belarus and other territories.” .

As such, Danilov praised the decision of many of its residents who chose to stay in the Ukrainian capital when the war broke out in order to defend the city.

“They expected that there would be panic, that people would run, that there would be nothing to protect Kyiv,” he added, referring to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

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At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The Russian invasion, justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community at large, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions on Russia.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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