More than a hundred political and civil society figures support the inclusion of people with disabilities in priority vaccination groups against Covid-19. The appeal started in an open letter promoted by three mothers of adults with disabilities and signed by politicians including Pedro Santana Lopes (former Prime Minister), Rui Moreira, Mayor of Porto, and Bernardino Soares, Mayor of Loures.
“We urge all policy makers, in particular the Portuguese government, the Directorate-General for Health and the Ministry of Health, to include people with disabilities in the priority groups for receiving vaccines against Covid-19,” the letter said a PUBLIC had access to. Prosecutors – Ana Camilo Martins, Maria de Assis Swinnerton and Paula Camello de Almeida – have already sent the text to the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister and the Director General of Health.
The signatories argue that this inclusion “is more than a commitment by the state to be a sign of humanity and civilization”. “The violation of the principle of protecting the most vulnerable is an obvious sign of the bankruptcy of the rule of law and a rejection of the values that formed the basis of democratic Portugal,” they claim.
The letter, also signed by figures from the fields of science, medicine, art and culture, admits that “at the time the vaccination criteria were developed, there may not have been enough data on the susceptibility of these people to the Covid-19”. However, he adds that “the scientific evidence that has been obtained and validated confirms that it is imperative that these people are given priority in this first vaccination phase”.
The exclusion of these people – which includes “people with intellectual disabilities, trisomy 21, autism spectrum disorder, paralysis and other disabled disabilities” – from the “priority vaccination guidelines” is another obstacle to the health and wellbeing of this population. with serious consequences in terms of mortality ”.
The signatories also include José Pedro Aguiar Branco, Clara Sottomayor, Angelo Paupério, António Maia Gonçalves, Carolina Deslandes, Pedro Abrunhosa, Cristina Esteves, Paula Moura Pinheiro and Ambassador Martins da Cruz.