The slower pace of vaccine arrival in Portugal led the new coordinator of the task-force, Henrique Gouveia e Melo, to change the initial vaccination plan. Now, 90% of the vaccines available are intended to “save lives” and 10% to “reinforce the state’s resilience in a pandemic period”.
According to the weekly Express, which advances the news this Friday, 90% of the vaccines available will be administered to people aged 80 and over and people between 50 and 79 years old with one of the four diseases most at risk for covid-19 (cardiac, coronary, renal and severe respiratory).
So, the new plan will delay the rate of vaccination of professionals essential State services, which form part of the first phase of the plan and which include the Armed Forces and security forces, firefighters, elements of sovereign bodies, such as the courts and Parliament, and doctors who are not at the forefront.
The goal is to reallocate tens of thousands of vaccines to groups that are considered essential to protect.
The vaccination plan establishes three main objectives: “Save lifes, focusing on the most fragile groups in society ”,“give resilience to the State’s response, starting with the health sector and progressively extending to other critical and essential sectors ”and“free the economy through an indiscriminate and massive vaccination process of the adult population ”.
According to Gouveia e Melo, this is “a example of adapting the plan external conditions, preserving and focusing the response on what is, at the moment, most pressing and essential ”. The vice-admiral adds that the “focus over the goal of saving lives” happens when “the most priority groups have already been reinforced health and critical and essential services ”.
By the end of January, practically all doctors and nurses of the National Health Service (SNS) had already taken at least the first dose, with the process in the private sector being delayed.
Call criteria vary from region to region
The newspaper Public this Friday said that the criteria for calling for vaccination is not uniform in the country. In the North, Center and Algarve, for example, people are being summoned by age, but in Lisbon and Vale do Tejo the choice is determined at random.
The selection “is made automatically and randomly in the region”, With people being called“ as the vaccines are redirected ”, according to the Regional Health Administration (ARS) of Lisbon and Vale do Tejo. “The alternate lists follow the same principle”.
In the North, the criterion is to go “from the older age (for example, 90 or more) to the younger (up to 80) ”and, in the group over 50 with comorbidities, the rule is the same. At the Center, the prioritization of these two groups “is done by decreasing order of age”. In the Algarve, the criterion is similar, but the severity of the diseases is also taken into account. The call is made in order of decreasing age ”and“ given the severity of the associated comorbidities ”.
According to the new coordination of the vaccination plan task force, age should be the main criterion, but this guidance is not yet written because it will be up to the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) to do so. “Within these two groups, vaccination should be carried out top down”Commander Ramos de Oliveira, spokesman for the task force, told the same newspaper.
“In my Aces [Agrupamento de Centros de Saúde], we are selecting by decreasing age, from the oldest to the youngest ”, said Nuno Jacinto, president of the Portuguese Association of General Medicine that works in Évora.
“Age is the most equitable and transparent criterion”, considered José Luís Biscaia, executive director of Aces do Baixo Mondego. In this grouping, the call started with the “centenarians” and, in the case of the group of over 50 with comorbidities, the option is to prioritize who has more than one pathology, combining this criterion with that of age.
Astrazeneca guarantees 1/3 of vaccines in the quarter
According to ECO, Portugal estimates receiving 2.5 million doses of vaccines against covid-19 by the end of the first quarter instead of the 4.4 million doses planned initially. Thus, Portugal has already received almost a third (30.79%) of the orders planned for this quarter.
This Friday, another order of vaccines should arrive, this time from AstraZeneca. With the arrival of these 93,600 doses, and adding the order of 104,230 doses of Pfizer from Monday, as well as the remaining 651,900 doses received since the start of the vaccination, Portugal it has already exceeded the 849 thousand doses received.
In the early days, orders arrived more widely, since there was only one type of vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), that of Pfizer. There are now two more different types of vaccines approved in the European Union: Modern, approved on January 6, and the AstraZeneca/Oxford, approved on 29 January.
These vaccines, which have already been approved by the European regulator, could soon be added Janssen-Cilag, a pharmacist in the Johnson & Johnson group, which is already being evaluated by the EMA and which only needs one dose.
The EMA is expected to issue its opinion in mid-March, but the president of Infarmed predicts that the first doses will arrive in the second quarter, with 1.25 million doses, out of a total of 4.5 million, which are expected throughout this year. year.
Maria Campos, ZAP //