In a message published on the official government Twitter account, the executive stated that due to the "good pace of the Anti-Covid-19 Vaccination plan and the availability of vaccines, it was decided to accelerate the vaccination programme at a national level".
The Government also said that "the extension of vaccination to new age groups" will start from 6 June for "people over 40" and from 20 June, for "people over 30", "throughout the continental territory".
Earlier in the week, the Assistant Secretary of State and Health, António Lacerda Sales, had announced that vaccination against Covid-19 was going to be accelerated in Lisbon and Vale do Tejo, for those in their 30’s and 40’s following a spike in infections in the region.
The announcement of the opening of vaccination at national level for these age groups came hours after the Mayor of Porto demanded equal treatment for the whole country, accusing the government of benefiting "the offender", by accelerating the campaign in the region of Lisbon and Tagus Valley, due to an increase in infections.
"There cannot be two countries, there cannot be one country and then there is Lisbon. There must be a single country and we must demand equal treatment for the whole nation," said Rui Moreira, in a video statement published on the Chamber's official website.
"What I wanted to say to the government, clearly and to the competent authorities, is that we demand an equal treatment for the whole country in this matter", he reiterated.
After the announcement by the Secretary of State, the coordinator of the 'task force' for vaccination, Vice Admiral Henrique Gouveia e Melo, also confirmed to Público newspaper that the extension to vaccinate those in the younger age groups will take place at a "national level" and not just in the Lisbon region.
Gouveia e Melo told the newspaper that the vaccination in Lisbon and Vale do Tejo will be reinforced, as it is lagging behind other regions of the country, such as the Alentejo and the Centre, but recalled that this is already being done in the Algarve and added that there will also be a reinforcement of vaccines in the North, "but keeping the same age schedule".
“Our plan is national and we are recovering the regions [percentage] that are lagging behind and this will also include the North. The idea is to always have the regions balanced because it is the fairest way ahead. When it comes to speeding up, it is in relation to administering more vaccines, but keeping the same age schedule”, he assured.