Lisbon, Dec 19 (IANS) Portugal has started vaccinating children aged between 5-11 against Covid-19 amid the spread of the new Omicron variant, said the country's Directorate-General for Health (DGS).
About 41,200 children were vaccinated on Saturday, with priority being given to those with comorbidities, Xinhua news agency quoted the DGS as saying.
According to the government forecast, a total of 77,000 children will receive vaccines formulated in paediatric doses by the Pfizer laboratory, with the second dose being administered between February 5 and March 13, 2022.
Deputy Secretary of State and Health Antonio Lacerda Sales said that all children up to 11 years old "may come to vaccination centers and receive the vaccine".
Portugal has surpassed the so-called "red line" of pandemic emergency with the highest incidence being children over 10 years of age.
Health Minister Marta Temido revealed that the Omicron variant currently account for 20 per cent of Covid-19 cases in the country.
"Based on estimates, we know that this variant could reach 50 per cent by Christmas and 80 per cent in the week of the end of the year," she told reporters.
As of Sunday, Portugal has reported a total of 1,220,836 coronavirus cases, with 18,753 deaths.
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