Portugal will accelerate the immunization campaign against Covid-19 to curb the rapid spread of the Delta variant, said vice-admiral Henrique Gouveia e Melo, the country’s vaccination coordinator.
The goal is to vaccinate “about 850,000 people a week” using the “maximum stocks of vaccine” available, Gouveia e Melo told the Portuguese news agency Lusa on Saturday.
“We are in a war against the virus, and we are going to give as much as we can to advance the vaccination process, taking it to the limit.
“We are at a rate of 100,000 (vaccinations) a day, but we are still going to increase that rate, and we are going to deplete all our vaccine stocks, eventually reducing some security in terms of reserves, but to advance the vaccination process.
“There will be days when we can reach or exceed the capacity of 140,000 per day, we will extend our schedules and strengthen our teams,” he said.
Meanwhile, he estimated that this sudden acceleration, in a period of two weeks, may cause queues for inoculations, saying, “the process will not be as fast as desirable, and I apologise to users who have to wait an hour or a half in a line, but it is the trade-off between the quality of the process, the pace of vaccination, and the urgency”.
So far, 8,361,912 vaccine doses have been administered in the country, according to the World Health Organization.
Since the onset of the pandemic, Portugal has registered 882,006 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 17,101 deaths.