By Chris King •
Published: 04 Oct 2021 • 20:02
Portugal leads the world after vaccinating 86 per cent of its population.
PORTUGAL leads the world after data shows that 86 per cent of its population has now been vaccinated
Portugal is one of the role models in the world right now when it comes to showing how to get the population vaccinated. At the start of 2021, hospitals in Lisbon were in danger of overflowing, with 2,000 people dying from coronavirus in the final week of January.
With the health system on the verge of collapsing, and the vaccine rollout a disaster, the government turned to a high-ranking military officer to help them. This is when Vice Adm. Henrique Gouveia e Melo, a former submarine squadron commander, took the position at the head of the vaccination program in February.
According to Gouveia e Melo, around 10.3 million of those aged 12 and over, have now been jabbed at least once, equating to 98 per cent of Portugal’s population. At the same time, around 86 per cent have been double-jabbed.
“We believe we have reached the point of group protection and nearly herd immunity. Things look very good”, said the Admiral, with Portugal’s government lifting most of its restrictions last Friday, October 1. Cases are down to only 650 per day. Nightlife is booming, and death rates are definitely down.
With his military background, the imposing 6 feet, 3 inches tall Admiral has been widely credited with turning Portugal’s vaccine program around. In his television appearances, he always insisted on wearing his full military combat uniform.
“The first thing is to make this thing a war. I use not only the language of war, but military language”, he said during an interview when discussing his approach to the job. He made it very clear that he believed politicians should stay out of decisions relating to the virus.
As a result, he put together his own team consisting of elite military personnel. This included strategic experts from Portugal’s Army, Navy, and Air Force, plus analysts, doctors, and mathematicians. When questioned about how other countries could bolster their programs, he had no hesitation to reply, “They need to find people who are not politicians”.
Stepping down from his position this week, Gouveia e Melo said he thought his country was doing well, but while Portugal leads the world, he cautioned that care and vigilance should still be used, as reported by uk.news.yahoo.com.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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