"From 26 April we begin mass testing of the population of the Autonomous Region of Madeira with the collaboration of community pharmacies, a project that will be presented on 23 April," said the official during the visit he made to the Vaccination Centre of Santa Cruz, in Porto Novo, where 470 people will be vaccinated in the age group over 70 years.

Pedro Ramos also said that the testing will be done from the age of 16 and every 14 days, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, having also announced that the region will receive 17,550 new doses of vaccine from Pfizer.

Despite the setbacks with the AstraZeneca and Johnson vaccines, Pedro Ramos considered that the process "is going as expected".

"By 11 April, 60,014 vaccines against Covid-19 have been administered in the Autonomous Region of Madeira (RAM), since 31 December, 2020," says a press release issued at the time by the Regional Secretariat of Health and Civil Protection (SRSPC), stressing that "vaccinated people integrate the priority groups defined in the Regional Vaccination Plan against Covd-19 in the RAM, according to the allocation of vaccines to the region."

Of the total number of vaccines administered (60,014), 41,844 correspond to the administration of the first dose and 18,170 were second doses of the vaccine, which, for the SRSPC, "means that 7.1 percent of the resident population has already been fully vaccinated and 16.5 percent, 1 dose of the vaccine.

Last week, 11,512 vaccines were administered, which represents for the regional health authority, "the highest number of vaccines administered after seven days, to date".

The Regional Vaccination Plan against Covid-19 establishes three phases, starting with priority groups, followed by people with comorbidities and then the rest of the population.

It is estimated that 50,000 people will be vaccinated in the first phase, another 50,000 in the second phase, and finally 100,000 people, with the goal of reaching 70 percent of the region's population (around 260,000 inhabitants) by the end of September.