Henrique Gouveia e Melo became a household name in Portugal - a symbol of 'how to get things done'

“We have enough vaccines for third dose, if necessary,” says vaccination task force coordinator

Portugal’s vaccination task force coordinator says the country has enough Covid-19 vaccines for a third dose for its most vulnerable citizens if it “becomes necessary”.

“Our very own health system and primary health services have been vaccinating people for many years. The flu vaccine is given to around three million people in three or four months,” said vice-admiral Gouveia e Melo.

“The most fragile people do not amount to three million, so I am convinced that the Ministry of Health will be able to carry out that process calmly,” he told SIC yesterday.

His statements came on the same day Health Minister Marta Temido said Portugal is still waiting for recommendations from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) about the need for a third dose.

The vaccination coordinator added that Portugal has already been able to do something “very difficult and complex” by carrying out a mass vaccination drive, which has already seen 70% of the country’s population become fully vaccinated.

Hopes are that the country will reach the 85% milestone by the first week of September, Gouveia e Melo added.

If all goes according to plan, virtually all of Portugal’s eligible citizens could be vaccinated by the end of September.

The vice-admiral also revealed that Portugal has already donated half a million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to other countries, including members of PALOP (the interstate organisation of Portuguese-speaking countries).

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com