LISBON, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) — Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa received on Monday the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Lusa news agency.
Minister of Health Marta Temido also confirmed that she had been vaccinated.
Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and President of the Portuguese Parliament Ferro Rodrigues were immunized on Feb. 12.
Portugal’s COVID-19 vaccination began late last December, primarily covering health professionals, in addition to the elderly and patients in long-term care units, members of the security forces, and people over 80 years of age.
“To date, 533,070 inoculations have been made, of which 333,000 correspond to first doses and 200,000 to the second,” Temido said at a press conference.
According to her, Portugal decided to prioritize “professionals of essential services, such as some holders of sovereign bodies.”
The minister confirmed that Portugal has so far received 694,800 doses of vaccines, while the Pfizer/BioNTech consortium has sent 104,130 more vaccines on Monday.
“We now expect more vaccines in the first quarter than we had eight days ago. I recall that we estimated 1.9 million, and today we are already estimating 2.5 million out of 4.4 million doses contracted for the first quarter,” she said, adding that Portugal intends to vaccinate 70 percent of the population by the end of the summer.
As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in some countries with already-authorized vaccines.
Meanwhile, 242 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide — 63 of them in clinical trials — in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to the latest information released by the World Health Organization. Enditem