The general director of Health, Graça Freitas, announced this Saturday that Portugal has reached a target of 85% of the population with complete vaccination against covid-19, thanking everyone who contributed to this goal.
“Today is a happy day. Today we have, in fact, reached our goal of vaccinating against covid-19, with complete vaccination, 85% of our population”, told Lusa Graça Freitas, noting that this was achieved “by giving an opportunity to everyone, without distinction from anyone, to be vaccinated”.
Goal that surpassing this goal is “a pride” for the country, a general director underlined, among thanks, that this was only achieved with the collaboration of the population, professionals involved in the vaccination and the Task force.
“My first word of thanks goes to these citizens who exercised their right to health protection, but also their co-responsibility for everyone’s health”, said Graça Freitas.
In this context, he also dedicated a special word to young people, whose adherence to vaccination against a covid-19 was essential for the country to be able to reach, about nine months after starting inoculations, 85% of the population with complete vaccination.
“We only managed to reach 85% of the entire population with full vaccination also thanks to the vaccination of young people. If we didn’t have this adhesion, we wouldn’t have succeeded. Young people are joining quite well and we continue to count on them. We have a structure set up for them. vaccinate them until they complete their schedule,” he needed.
The director-general’s thanks were also extended to health professionals, firefighters, volunteers and entities that participated in the vaccination, namely the Ministry of Health and other ministries and municipalities, and to Task force led by Vice Admiral Gouveia e Melo “because it was necessary to have a plan and implement that plan to achieve these results”.
Third dose of the vaccine starts Monday for those who took the flu for more than 14 days
The Director-General of Health also said that seniors who took the flu vaccine for more than 14 days will start receiving the third dose of the vaccine against covid-19 from Monday.
“We are waiting for an orientation from the World Health Organization (WHO) so that we can, if possible, administer [o reforço da] vaccine against covid-19 and vaccine against complaint on the same day, in different places of the body, but in the same vaccination session “, said Graça Freitas to Lusa.
The director-general pointed out that, while this recommendation is not known, it will “begin the vaccination, next Monday, vaccinating people who have had the flu vaccine for 14 days and who already have the interval to be able to have it the booster of vaccination against a covid-19”.
Noting that the vaccination process in Portugal was a “success” – with the country currently reaching the target of 85% of the vaccinated population – Graça Freitas emphasizes that this is not over yet, it is necessary to continue vaccinating those who have not yet done it and also reinforces the immunity of groups that were identified as eligible for a third or booster dose of the vaccine, namely immunocompromised and people over 65 years of age.
“We have to somehow strengthen the immunity of those who make a new stimulus to be more protected because the protection is decreasing over time and we are doing it in two groups”, said Graça Freitas.
The first group comprises the immunocompromised, whose boosting of the covid-19 vaccine has already started, and the second group includes people over 65 years old, with “priority being given to people aged 80 years or more and to people who reside in homes and similar structures,” with the third dose or booster dose starting on Monday.
If the WHO guidance arrives for a co-administration of vaccines against a complaint and covid-19 in the same vaccination session, a Director-General of Health states that the logistical and tele-support capacity is “prepared” to comply with such a measure that , if possible, “it gives more comfort to people, who avoid having to travel” and facilitates the management of the process at the level of services.
Graça Freitas also recalled that, alongside this reinforcement of doses for eligible groups, the process of vaccination against covid-19 is still continuing, as it is necessary to complete the vaccination of some and vaccinate those who have not yet received any dose, such as young people who, however, reach the age of 12 or people who acquire their conditions from outside.
In a statement to Lusa, Graça Freitas said that Portugal has now reached a target of 85% of the population with complete vaccination against covid-19, considering this reason to be “pride”.
The Ministry of Health also issued a statement today to mark that goal, requiring Portugal to become the first country in the world with 85% of the population vaccinated.
In this process, around 15.3 million vaccines were administered in mainland Portugal, enabling around 8.4 million people to now have the complete vaccination schedule, said the statement from Minister Marta Temido’s office.