Portugal is one of the vaccination world champions in the fight against the corona virus. The country relies on a very special recipe for success. And is rewarded for it.
Lisbon – At the beginning of 2021, Portugal was one of the countries that was hit particularly hard by the coronavirus. At times there were almost 2,000 deaths a week there, whose deaths were related to the virus.
But times have changed. Portugal is now one of the countries in the world with the highest vaccination rate. In the southern European country, 84.7 percent of the population is currently fully vaccinated against the coronavirus (As of October 11, 2021 / Source: Our World in Data). Only the tiny state of Gibraltar (99 percent) and the United Arab Emirates (85.2) top the Portuguese figure.
Coronavirus: Vaccination world champion Portugal – with military drill to success
Impressive numbers – but how could Portugal change from being a major Corona problem child to becoming a model state? The answer is complex. On the one hand, it relied on the help of a former commander in the Portuguese Navy. Henrique Gouveia e Melo, an ex-military member, headed the country’s vaccination campaign.
He did not shy away from martial words to illustrate the seriousness of the situation. “I made it clear to the population that we are at war against the virus and that we must unite to win against it and to protect our children from it,” said Gouveia e Meloder world. Even without an official vaccination requirement, social pressure was built up on the unvaccinated Portuguese. “I then calmly said in front of the cameras that the killer is the virus and these people are helping him,” said Gouveia e Melo, explaining his drastic approach.
In addition, the authorities remained extremely persistent with all people who had not yet decided to have a corona vaccination in Portugal. All Portuguese received at least three invitations to the corona vaccination. Anyone who did not respond to this was contacted again and again and was downright “annoyed” with the lack of vaccination. Obviously with success.
The positive development thanks to your help with the corona vaccinations brought relief to the Portuguese. The nationwide so-called alarm condition was lifted on October 1st. In addition, the mask requirement in restaurants, hotels and small shops ended. In addition, clubs and discos were allowed to reopen.
Corona: 98 percent of people over twelve years of age vaccinated in Portugal – help planned for other countries
According to the Portuguese government, people over the age of twelve have a vaccination quota (As of October 4, 2021) at 98 percent. That prompted the renowned US newspaper New York Times to the assessment that “there is no one left to vaccinate in Portugal”. This is also due to the fact that the number of vaccine skeptics in Portugal – unlike in Germany, for example – is rather low. “The acceptance of vaccines is very high here,” said the sociologist Manuel Ivone da Cunha from the University of Minho in an interview with the world.
The original vaccination target of 85 percent among those over twelve has now been significantly exceeded. Therefore, vaccination campaign leader Gouveia e Melo resigned from his post at the end of September. And now, instead of tackling third-party vaccinations in Portugal, I prefer to focus on other countries that want to increase their vaccination quota. “We are vaccinating the population,” the ex-military said. “And forget that a large part of the world has not yet received a vaccination. This is a mistake for moral, ethical and strategic reasons. ” (kh)