“Sand we wanted to vaccinate the entire population again with a third dose, we had enough vaccines to do so, and eventually it was not necessary”, said Henrique Gouveia e Melo in the Assembly of the Republic, where he was heard to assess the activity of the task force that implemented the vaccination plan.
According to the vice-admiral, when the task force ceased its functions, on September 28, approximately 2.5 million vaccines were still available, with another 6.1 million doses being planned to arrive in the fourth quarter, which will be join those already contracted for the first months of 2022.
Before the deputies, Gouveia e Melo added that Portugal had sent around two million doses to other countries – a little more than 10% of the total vaccines it received -, of which around 400 thousand were sold.
“This process was conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the task force, in order not to provide vaccines that could impact the plan immediately and, on the other hand, not to let vaccines go to waste as they expire”, said the former coordinator.
Regarding the administration of a third dose to elderly people over 65 years of age, Henrique Gouveia e Melo said that the aim was to vaccinate about 2.5 million people in this phase that started this week to strengthen immunity against the SARS-CoV-virus. two.
“Of course, the pharmaceutical companies, if it were possible, would vaccinate all people with one more dose and then children up to the age of zero. They have also asked the regulators for authorization to vaccinate up to the age of zero. countries with their policies and with their health authorities”, he considered.
At the parliamentary hearing, the vice-admiral also reiterated that he was against the “militarization of society”, claiming that this constitutes “a danger”.
“Not all nails are the same and there is no hammer for all nails”, declared Gouveia e Melo, who defined the task force’s mission as “a quick dressing” for an extraordinary process of vaccination.
“We were called to do a bandage and we did the bandage. We finished the bandage and we shook hands with our contractor”, said the former coordinator of the task force, admitting that the moment of simultaneous vaccination against covid-19 and flu “could be disruptive”.
To avoid this situation, an eight-element transition nucleus was created with the objective of internalizing the processes and practices of the task force in the Ministry of Health, so that “anything positive from this process remains in organizational terms”, said the military officer. .
At the moment, this nucleus is in function and elements of the Ministry of Health are “operating in the military installations in Oeiras”, receiving this “training and training on how we operate in crisis and focused on solving very concrete problems”, he said. Gouveia e Melo, who was heard in the eventual Commission to monitor the implementation of the response measures to the COVID-19 disease pandemic and the economic and social recovery process, and in the Health Commission.
In Portugal, since March 2020, 18,048 people have died and 1,075,639 cases of infection have been recorded, according to data from the General Directorate of Health.
The disease is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, detected in late 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China, and currently with variants identified in several countries.
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