"At this moment, of the 3 million doses that we said in July that we would donate to the PALOP countries and East Timor, 1.217 million doses have been delivered," said the foreign minister.
Portugal has sent 1.2 million vaccines to Portuguese-speaking African Countries (PALOP) and East Timor as part of the cooperation programme, the foreign minister said on Wednesday.
“At this moment, of the 3 million doses that we said in July that we would donate to the PALOP countries and East Timor, 1.217 million doses of vaccines have been delivered, including the batch delivered on Tuesday to Mozambique and one that will arrive today in Angola,” said Augusto Santos Silva, on the sidelines of the signing of a protocol with TAP, which will allow free transport of these vaccines on commercial flights.
“The programme began in May, with Cabo Verde, and currently all the PALOP countries and East Timor are receiving vaccines, with Brazil receiving support in the form of medication and other treatment materials during the most critical period of the pandemic under this programme that extends to 2022,” the minister added.
The vaccine donation programme for Portuguese-speaking African countries and Brazil and East Timor, among others, “is part of a national effort that the government defined from the beginning of the fight against the pandemic, in the first half of 2020,” which translated into vaccinating the Portuguese population and, in parallel, donating vaccines to traditional partners of national cooperation.
Asked by Lusa whether Equatorial Guinea also received vaccines or support from Portugal, the minister replied: “Equatorial Guinea is among the PALOP countries and is involved in this programme but, first, it is a small country that has a more advanced vaccination programme than other countries and, secondly, naturally we start by favouring the partner countries of our cooperation with which we have a practice and logistics of cooperation that allows us to be more effective in the displacement and distribution of vaccines.
“It is natural that in countries with whom we have installed cooperation logistics, the process is simpler and, therefore, a priority,” he said.
The agreement was signed this morning between TAP and Camões – Institute for Cooperation and Language and provides free transport on commercial flights of materials and vaccines from Portugal to the countries receiving this aid.
The covid-19 has caused at least 4,752,875 deaths worldwide, among 232.27 million infections by the new coronavirus recorded since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the latest balance of the agency France-Presse.