January 5 could be day first Portuguese receive Covid vaccine

January 5 is the date suggested by prime minister António Costa today for the first Portuguese to start receiving their Covid vaccines.

Talking at the end of the European Council in Brussels, Mr Costa said Portugal’s vaccination programme is expected to start in step with those throughout the rest of the European Union – all on the same day.

As vaccination coordinator Francisco Ramos said yesterday, the plan is to vaccinate 50,000 people a day from that moment onwards at national health centres (and possibly ‘larger spaces’ like sports pavilions when dealing with big cities).

He said the strategy should not compromise ‘other activity’ at health centres (in other words, healthcare within them should go on as normal).

While other measures to control the pandemic will have to stay in place until at least 60% of the population has received their inoculations (click here), president of the association of general and family medicine Rui Nogueira has told reporters that “we need to vaccinate 10% to control the pandemic”.

Ten per cent of the population is just a little over one million people, most of which should be receiving their jabs during the first phase of the vaccination programme (click here).

As has been mentioned before, Portuguese authorities have pre-ordered 22 million vaccines (due to the fact that most require people to receive two shots), though supply schedules are still ‘hazy’.