Regarding the fact that Portugal did not acquire all the expected vaccines from the Moderna pharmaceutical company, Miguel Castanho, Full Professor at FMUL and Principal Investigator at iMM, says that it was “correct” because “an amount that is sufficient for the entire population is expected and also because we have to take into account that the virus is evolving and eventually the second generations of vaccines can encompass new strains that are appearing and will continue to appear”. This allows greater adaptability to follow the evolution of the situation.
According to the Biochemistry Professor, "the evolution of the virus itself points to the need to have periodic vaccination".
Regarding the new variants, Miguel Castanho says that “they don't have to be alarming”, as this is part of the natural evolution of the virus and, consequently, the process of developing vaccines or medicines must accompany this evolution.
As for the suitability of existing vaccines in relation to new variants, Miguel Castanho mentions that vaccines may not provide as high protection as with previous variants, but still ensure effective protection.
Regarding the virus variants, the Professor warns about the need to take measures to contain some of the new variants that do not yet circulate among us, as the new variant present in Manaus, in the state of Amazonas. Like the UK strain, this variant is very infectious. Miguel Castanho says that “probably what would be sensible at this point, in addition to discussing closing schools, which is a very important issue, would be to discuss preventively how we reduce our exposure to other variants (…)”.
Watch this interview with TVI24 here