“So we are increasing the pace of vaccination, somehow compromising some quality in the process, because it is a race against time. On the one hand, vaccination, on the other hand, the infections that are spreading”, said Henrique Gouveia e Melo, in an interview on 4 July to Primeiro Jornal da SIC.
The coordinator of the task force of the vaccination plan against Covid-19 said that Portugal will reach “85 percent of the first administration in the second or third week of September”, when 70 percent of the population will also have reached the complete vaccination regime.
“I think that there we will be strongly protected against this new Delta variant” he said, stressing that “vaccination has an effect on contagions” and as such it is necessary to accelerate.
At stake is the fight against the Delta variant, which is prevalent in Portugal, and at this point the goal is to vaccinate 100 to 120 thousand people a day.
The consequences will be more queues, but Gouveia e Melo hopes that will not exceed an hour and that it will not everywhere.
At this stage, the quality of the process is "changing a bit" for increasing the rate of vaccination: "What is most important is to reach the maximum rate of vaccination to see if we can win this battle and these two weeks are really decisive."
He also regretted that the vaccines did not reach the desired rate, saying that in the first quarter 4 million were planned and 2 million occurred, and in the second quarter of the 11 were million planned, 7.2 million happened.
"We have reinforced the schedules to the maximum and we are simultaneously strengthening our capacities to vaccinate, and the schedules are also being extended to the maximum", he said, stressing that this week more than 100,000 people were vaccinated daily.
There have been days above 120,000 vaccinations, but it's different to do this on one day or two, rather than every day. Therefore, he stressed, "it will be a very big effort for everyone, including the population, who will eventually have a process with less quality, but the pace and the pandemic demand it."