Portugal expects surge in vaccine deliveries next month

A man runs near Tagus river during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Lisbon, Portugal

The head of Portugal’s COVID-19 vaccination task force says he expects a surge in vaccine deliveries next month and is scaling up preparations to administer them quickly.

Rear Admiral Henrique Gouveia e Melo says rapid vaccination centers will open in April and a website will be launched for people to book their jabs. Pharmacies will also be available to help administer vaccines.

The plan has been on hold due to the European Union’s shortfall in anticipated vaccine supplies. “There’s no point opening a center to administer 500 or 600 vaccines a day and then only having 50 vaccines available,” Gouveia e Melo said in an interview with Portuguese news agency Lusa, published Thursday by the Expresso newspaper.

Portugal has so far been giving an average of around 23,000 jabs a day.

It is one of the countries that this week temporarily halted using the AstraZeneca vaccine due to concerns over its side-effects.

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