The coordinator of the task force for the vaccination plan against Covid-19 anticipated again today that 70% of the population will have at least the first dose of vaccine by late July or early August.
“In late July / early August, the first dose is anticipated. This does not include the 2.7 million vaccines of Janssen [for aged 50+ years] because if we include them we would anticipate more”, affirmed Gouveia e Melo, today heard by the deputies of the Parliamentary Health Committee.
Regarding the capacity of the vaccination centres, the official said that it is estimated that 100,000 people per day are being vaccinated, and explained that the authorities will need to extend the operating hours of these places.
Asked about the vaccination of young people under 16 years old, Gouveia e Melo said that “as soon as there are solutions for this type of population, they will be adopted”.
Linking the difference between population protection and group immunity, the official said that the data is still not solid, but that in Israel (the country most advanced in vaccinating its population) the data indicates that, in addition to protecting those vaccinated, the vaccine also acts as a barrier in the transmission of the virus.
“With 70% of the population vaccinated, if the virus is not being transmitted, it begins to disappear in the community”, affirmed Gouveia e Melo, stressing, however, that, despite the data from Israel being “good news”, still “ there is no scientific proof” on this matter.
“We, the older ones, have an obligation to protect the younger ones by getting vaccinated. It is intergenerational solidarity ”, he stressed.
The task force coordinator also explained, when asked about the matter, that the authorities have difficulties in identifying some immigrants for the vaccination process, but stressed that, "as long as the person is identified, they have every right to be vaccinated", because "the pandemic does not choose nationalities, races or ages".
Gouveia e Melo pointed out yet another difficulty: “There is a seasonal fluctuating population, which also complicates the process”.
Regarding the vaccination process of teachers, he said that "it is becoming endless" and guaranteed that the authorities have been confronted with several lists. "It is a process that is becoming interminable, which requires a lot of energy to vaccinate groups of 100 or 200 people, when we still have a lot of people," he said, adding: "But whenever lists arrive, we update and people are vaccinated" .