Covid-19: Vaccination Plan is presented this Thursday. What is already known?

The plan is presented this Thursday but some details are already known: the vaccines will be “free and optional”, the process will take time (it may take several months) and there will be “greater shortage of vaccines” during the first quarter of 2021.

Karoly Arvai / Reuters

After the Government announced the investment of 200 million euros for the acquisition of 22 million doses of vaccines against the new coronavirus, a task force was created whose objective was to plan the national vaccination strategy against Covid-19. That same body, created especially for the purpose, will present this Thursday the details on how the doses ordered for Portugal will be distributed.

The Prime Minister, António Costa, said that the logistical operation is already being set up "to receive, store, distribute according to the criteria" and stressed that "it will be well organized and must go well. It cannot fail ”.

Even so, Marta Temido warned that “we have a high expectation in relation to this process, but we must realize that this vaccination process will be long. For several months next year, we cannot deviate from the rules that have been in force until now ”.

The health minister also made it clear that "vaccines will be administered in the NHS, they will be free and optional". Marta Temido warned of the likelihood that in the first quarter of 2021 there will be "greater shortage of vaccines".

Even so, despite the imminent presentation of the Portuguese vaccination plan against Covid-19, the health minister stressed that “the results of the phase 3 clinical trials” of the vaccines are not yet known - the last phase of a trial prior to authorization for the introduction of the vaccine on the market, the effectiveness of the medicine has yet to be assessed by the European Agency for

In this context, the evaluation of the vaccine of Pfizer on December 29, and that of Moderna on January 9 will be known. The clinical trials that are published mainly concern people between 18 and 55 years of age. In addition, the duration of vaccination immunity is not known, and available data do not recommend vaccination for children and pregnant women.

Pfizer expects to vaccinate 300 Portuguese in a first phase, the director-general of the pharmaceutical company in Portugal told TSF radio today. Paulo Teixeira. Portugal will receive a total of 300 million doses of the Pfizer / BionNTech vaccine, he said. Pfizer expects his vaccine to be approved before the end of the year, after which the vaccines “will be quickly distributed”, being transported to all European countries “at the same time”, guaranteed a total of 4,6 million vaccines distributed by the countries of the European Union.

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