Portugal will receive 6.1 million vaccines by the end of the year


Manuel de Almeida / Lusa

Portugal will receive around 6.1 million vaccines against covid-19 by the end of the year, with enough doses to re-vaccinate the entire population, if necessary, announced today the coordinator of the ex-task force.

“If we wanted vaccinate the entire population again with a third dose, we had enough vaccines to do it, and eventually it was not necessary”, said Henrique Gouveia e Melo in the Assembly of the Republic, where he was heard to assess the activity of the task force that implemented the vaccination plan.

According to the vice-admiral, when the task force ceased its functions, on September 28, approximately 2.5 million vaccines were still available. arrive in the fourth quarter over 6.1 million doses, to which will be added those already contracted for the first months of 2022.

Before the deputies, Gouveia e Melo added that Portugal had sent around two million doses to other countries – a little more than 10% of the total number of vaccines it received -, of which around 400,000 were sold.

“This process was conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the task force, in order not to provide vaccines that could impact the plan immediately and, on the other hand, not to let vaccines go to waste as they expire”, said the former coordinator.

Regarding the administration of a third dose to elderly people over 65 years of age, Henrique Gouveia e Melo stated that it is about vaccinating about 2.5 million people in this phase that kicked off this week to boost immunity against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

“Of course, the pharmaceutical companies, if possible, would vaccinate everyone with one more dose and then children up to the age of zero. They have also asked regulators for permission to vaccinate up to age zero. But it is not the pharmaceutical companies that vaccinate, it is the countries with their policies and their health authorities”, he considered.

At the parliamentary hearing, the vice-admiral also reiterated that he was against the “militarization of society”, claiming that this constitutes “a danger”.

“Not all nails are the same and there is no hammer for all nails”, declared Gouveia e Melo, who defined the mission of the `task force´ as “a quick dressing” for an extraordinary process of vaccination.

“We were called in for a bandage and we did the bandage. The fastening is over and we shake hands with our contractor”, said the former coordinator of the task force, admitting that the moment of simultaneous vaccination against covid-19 and the flu “could be disruptive”.

To avoid this situation, an eight-element transition nucleus was created with the aim of internalizing the processes and practices of the `task force’ in the Ministry of Health, so that “anything positive about this process remains in organizational terms”, he said. the military.

At the moment, this nucleus is in office and elements of the Ministry of Health are “operating in the military installations in Oeiras”, receiving this “training and training on how we operate in crisis and focused on solving very concrete problems”, he said. Gouveia e Melo, who was heard in the eventual Commission to monitor the implementation of the response measures to the COVID-19 disease pandemic and the economic and social recovery process, and in the Health Commission.