The guarantee was given today by the Minister of Health, Marta Temido, who admitted to a slowing down in the vaccination plan in this final stretch, despite noting that the current vaccination coverage rate of the population, which stands at 84.03 percent, is not an impediment to the continuity of the process decided on in the last Council of Ministers.
“For the sake of predictability, and as we are very close to 85 percent, we would take note of the rules that we are all going to comply with from the 1st (October) and plan their adoption from the 1st. The 85 percent could happen a few days later, it could even happen on the eve of October 1st, but the most important thing is that this is a date from which we change some rules”, she stressed.
Questioned by journalists at the end of a meeting at the headquarters of the task force, at the Joint Command of Military Operations, in Oeiras, the government official stressed that "this final part was the most difficult to reach" and that there have been "exogenous circumstances" to dictate “some resistance in these last days” in the vaccination campaign.
“If not on October 1st, it will be the first week of October. What is important is that, in fact, even when we reach 85%, we don't give up on continuing to vaccinate and with that you can count on us to continue doing it”, she reiterated, on the day the task force coordinator, Vice Admiral Henrique Gouveia e Melo, made official the end of his mission in planning the vaccination logistics in the context of the pandemic.
The process now moves into a transitional phase in which flu vaccination and the administration of the eventual third dose of the covid-19 vaccine will overlap. This phase will be under the responsibility of a coordination nucleus led by Colonel Penha Gonçalves - with a smaller team, in articulation with the General Directorate of Health and the Ministry of Health.
António Costa reiterated the message that the lifting of further restrictions will go ahead as planned on Friday.
“The Government set the 1st of October. We are not at 85% of vaccines, but we are practically at that value”, he said.
Therefore, for the prime minister, it is not justified to “have further delays” in this process of lifting restrictions previously imposed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Government, according to António Costa, “will keep everything as planned for October 1st, renewing the appeal to people who have already taken the first dose, but who still don't have the second one, to take it.
"Take this second dose so that the vaccination plan is completed as soon as possible," he added.