Portuguese Health Minister Marta Temedo announced, on Tuesday, that Portugal has appealed to other European countries to obtain more doses of COVID-19 vaccines and to speed up the vaccination of its population.
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With regard to immunization, “the state has made great efforts”, especially “to receive more vaccines,” as the minister announced at the conclusion of a meeting of experts aimed at assessing the health situation.
Henrique Gouveia e Melo, coordinator of the national vaccination programme, said the country hopes to receive nearly one million doses of vaccines in the next three weeks.
Portugal, which has already obtained about 290,000 doses of the vaccine from Norway and is negotiating with Italy about 300,000 additional doses, on Tuesday received 200,000 doses of AstraZeneca purchased from Hungary.
This clearly shows the “spirit of European cooperation,” welcomed Augusto Santos Silva, Minister of Foreign Affairs along with his Hungarian counterpart Peter Sigarto, specifying that the doses received on Tuesday were intended for Portuguese-speaking African countries and East Timor.
In Portugal, the government wants children aged 12-17 to be vaccinated before the school year begins. The green light is currently awaiting from the health authorities.
Epidemiologist Henrique de Barros warned during this meeting with the government that “children’s vaccination is necessary or there will be a peak in new cases” in the fall.
Some scientific experts consulted on Tuesday believe the country should be near the peak of this new wave. They demanded that restriction measures be developed according to the vaccination rate.
Authorities aim to have 70% of the population fully vaccinated by the end of August. Currently in Portugal, a country of 10 million people, about 6.5 million people have received a dose of the vaccine and 4.5 million people have been fully vaccinated.
Portugal has been hit for several weeks by the escalation of pollution due to the delta variant, which currently accounts for more than 98% of cases.
In an effort to contain the epidemic, the government decided to expand the use of health permits for hotels or restaurants and to impose a night curfew in the worst affected municipalities.
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