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We wish you a merry vaccine! Lisbon starts inoculating children

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By Reuters
We wish you a merry vaccine! Lisbon starts inoculating children
We wish you a merry vaccine! Lisbon starts inoculating children   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021   -  

<div> <p>By Catarina Demony and Miguel Pereira</p> <p><span class="caps">LISBON</span> – Nurses wearing reindeer antler headbands danced to festive music and Santa Claus showed up at a Lisbon vaccination centre on Saturday as young children started to receive their <span class="caps">COVID</span>-19 shots. </p> <p>Martim Sobral, 10, and his dad Paulo were among the first to arrive at the large vaccination site after Portugal’s health authority last week approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for those aged five to 11. </p> <p>“If I don’t get vaccinated I have more chances of getting <span class="caps">COVID</span>-19, and I don’t want that,” Martim said. His father added: “It is important for everyone, for the world, for the country, that the vaccine exists so people can be protected.”</p> <p>Nurses wearing Rudolph the reindeer headbands or the red nose said they were trying to ease the children’s anxieties.</p> <p>“It is a mass vaccination campaign in an unwelcoming building so we tried to create a more relaxed environment so children are less anxious,” said nurse Paula Ramos. </p> <p>As children left the site to head home, staff handed out candy and gave them colourful stickers saying: “I’ve been vaccinated!”</p> <p>Portugal, which has one of the world’s highest rates of vaccination against <span class="caps">COVID</span>-19 with around 87% of its 10 million population fully inoculated, is now facing a surge in infections, in part due to the Omicron variant. </p> <p>Rita Oliveira and her 11-year-old son Afonso, also showed up at the vaccination centre, both previously infected with <span class="caps">COVID</span>-19. She took the opportunity to leave a message to parents still in doubt about whether to vaccinate their children or not.</p> <p>“Trust those that know more than we do … so this (pandemic) finally ends and we can have our lives back,” she said. </p> <p/> </div>