In Portugal, with the first dose, the average of vaccinated is 46 percent, in the Azores this average is 47 percent. In Portugal, with complete vaccination, that is, with the second dose or with the application of the Janssen vaccine, which is a single dose, the average number of vaccines is 29 percent, in the Azores this average is 37 percent", stated the head of Health in the Azores, Clélio Meneses, at a press conference in Angra do Heroísmo. So far, 204,508 doses of vaccines against covid-19 have been administered in the Azores, with 114,502 people having at least one dose (47.2 percent of the population, according to Pordata data from 2019) and 90.006 people with vaccination completed (37.1 percent) . “We have a large number of vaccines already administered, which means that the level of vaccination is in fact in a process and at an accelerated level”, stressed Clélio Meneses.
Between 6th and 20th June, Operation Periphery promoted a mass vaccination against Covid-19 in five of the six islands without a hospital in the Azores (in Corvo it had already taken place in February and March), with the collaboration of a team of nine soldiers (six nurses, two doctors and one pharmacist), provided by the Ministry of National Defense. Five of the nine islands in the Azores already have more than 70 percent of the population with at least one dose of the vaccine. São Jorge is the island with the highest vaccination rate (77.2 percent), followed by Santa Maria (76.4 percent), Pico (75.5 percent), Graciosa (71.9 percent) and Corvo (70.5 percent).
On the island of Flores, despite the mass vaccination operation, only 64.4 percent of people were vaccinated. The three islands with hospitals are above 40 percent vaccinated with the first dose: Faial reached 49.2 percent, Terceira 42.1 percent and São Miguel 41.8 percent. In Corvo, all restrictions on the containment of covid-19 have already been lifted and on the island of Santa Maria, which has been vaccinated for 14 days, some measures will be eased. “In the case of Santa Maria, restaurants and beverage establishments and the like are working from now on without any restriction on their schedule. The same will happen, taking into account that the vaccination of 70 percent of the population with the first dose has already been concluded, in Graciosa from 28th June, in São Jorge from 1st July and in Pico from the day onwards 5th July”, said Clelio Meneses. “On the island of Flores, given the largest number of refusals, we have not yet reached this level,” he added.
According to the regional secretary for Health and Sports, in the islands where Operation Periphery did not take place, vaccination is nearing completion in the population with pathologies and "it is also already advancing sharply at the age level". “We are reaching the age of 50 years. We are at a very advanced stage of vaccination”, he said, appealing to the population over 55 years of age who was not invited to contact the health center or register with the regional vaccination platform against covid-19. By the end of July, the Azorean government predicts that all islands will have 70 percent of the population with full vaccination against covid-19, so Clélio Meneses called for a containment effort, admitting that the “extreme tiredness of people” may justify some “non-compliance”. “Make one more effort. We are talking about a month, a month and a half, at most two months of effort, containment, avoiding crowds, avoiding festivities, avoiding gatherings, avoiding risky behaviour that lead to the spread of the pandemic”, he asked.
The Azores currently have 291 active cases of infection by the new coronavirus, which causes the covid-19 disease, of which 269 in São Miguel, 11 in Terceira, eight in Faial, two in São Jorge and one in Santa Maria. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 6,200 cases of infection have occurred in the region, with 5,741 recoveries and 33 deaths having occurred. Eighty people left the archipelago without having been cured and 55 presented proof of previous cure.