Portugal receives extra 70,200 doses of vaccine to start mass inoculation programme on Sunday

Authorities in Portugal heard yesterday that instead of the 9,750 doses of the BioNTech/ Pfizer vaccine anticipated for the start of the vaccination programme on Sunday, it will be receiving another 70,200 doses.

As a result, the schedule has been ‘updated’ to include more people at this early stage and more regions.

Madeira and Azores, for instance, will be able to start vaccinating on the same day as the rest of the country.

Meantime, national medications authority (Infarmed) has updated its website to as much information on this first Covid vaccine as it can, to ‘answer citizens’ ‘legitimate concerns’ (click here)

Emer Cooke, the new executive director of European Medicines Agency EMA has admitted to being “worried” about what she describes as the “hesitation” people are showing in regard to taking-up the vaccine.

Says Diário de Notícias, she ‘defends it is necessary to combat disinformation and respond to the legitimate preoccupations of citizens’.

“Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how innovative or old a medication is if it doesn’t reach the patient”, Ms Cooke told Infarmed Notícias.

Reticence in Portugal has seen roughly half the people polled say either they don’t want the vaccine, or they are ‘just not sure’ (click here).

Infarmed’s information page is set out as a form of Q&A sheet, with the question on how long immunity conferred by the vaccine lasts answered with the explanation that no-one can tell because the virus has been known for ‘such a short period of time’. 

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