Approximately 300,000 people in the Algarve are still awaiting their vaccination, but the Regional Health Administration (ARS) of the Algarve believes that it will be possible to ensure 70% of the Algarve population are vaccinated by August.
During yesterdays' regional press conference on the epidemiological situation Paulo Morgado, president of the Regional Health Administration (ARS) from the Algarve noted that to date (April10th), 82,209 Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in the Algarve, of which 23,423 people have already received both doses.
At the moment the transmissibility index (rt) of COVID-19 in the Algarve is 1.05, slightly higher than the national level of 1.02.
Asked if there would be a chance that the region would achieve immunity before the tourist season, so as not to harm the tourism market so much, the president stated that the vaccination plan is done at a national scale and not at a regional scale, even when in the Algarve the prevalence the English variant has a higher percentage than the national variant (94 percent to 82.09).
“The UK strain of Covid-19, when it enters a country, or a community, becomes easily prevalent because the virus replicates more easily and generates more cases. The situation in the Algarve is not that different from the national situation in that the English variant has already become dominant. We cannot say that we are going to vaccinate more in the Algarve region just because we have more cases of English variant ”, he said.
Morgado went on to say "most likely, the Algarve will be part of the so-called third phase of vaccines, starting at the end of April or at the beginning of May, where we will start vaccinating from the oldest to the youngest".
"Assuming that age is a risk factor for the complications of the disease, we will have, in the coming months, following this plan, a vaccination that will cover the adult population in general, starting with the elderly. This is a plan to follow at the national level, there are no regional vaccination plans. The Algarve will follow the rhythm of the other regions. We receive the vaccines and administer them according to what our resident population is", he said.
“We will reach national values for vaccination coverage, most likely before August. Around 300,000 people still need to be vaccinated. If we vaccinate these 300 thousand people at the rate of three thousand per day, which is not even high, in 100 days we will have vaccinated these 300 thousand people, resulting in a coverage rate that exceeds 70% of the population at risk. We will arrive in the summer with the population covered".
Still on the percentage of 70 percent, Morgado said that it is a value "debatable, which is not consensual, but which is accepted in terms of group immunity, called a psychological barrier".
"The key is to act quickly. Health authorities are doing the job, as are other entities and ministries. Since March 15th, we have performed more than 26,000 tests with 866 positive cases. We are mass testing and isolating both primary cases and high and low risk contacts very quickly, ” Paulo Morgado concluded.,
Three new rapid Covid vaccination centres have now been given the green light to open, in Olhão, Faro and Lagoa, with more in the pipeline.
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