In a visit to the health center of Olhão to accompany the start of vaccination in the region to people aged 80 and over or between 50 and 79 with severe health problems, Paulo Morgado told journalists that of the 900 people covered by the process this week in those two units, 120 will be vaccinated on 8 February.

"There are 900 people, first, because we are testing the system, and because there are still few vaccines", said the president of ARS / Algarve, adding that more Pfizer vaccines for the elderly should now arrive in the region, already for administration of second doses.

The region is part of a pilot project under which the SMS vaccination scheduling and scheduling system is being tested, although the people vaccinated on 8 February have all been contacted by phone call.

“We called family members over the weekend, but it went well, we were already doing this for the flu”, he said, stressing that the users' contacts are being updated and that the SMS appointment that will be tested throughout the week will be mainly aimed at users between 50 and 79 years old.

According to the official, this week it will be possible to start the vaccination of the Algarve's firefighters, with a new batch of vaccines from another pharmaceutical company that, arriving in the region on 10 February, will allow the vaccination of these professionals to start the day after.

Paulo Morgado added that in this new stage of phase 1 of the national vaccination plan - which will later extend to the entire region – 25,000 people are identified, 18,000 of whom are between 50 and 79 years old with pre existing health conditions.

At almost 92 years old, Joaquim Horta Correia, one of the elderly people vaccinated on 8 February in Olhão, accompanied by his daughter, praised the speed of the process, saying that he was “very happy” to be vaccinated against covid-19.

“This was very fast and everything was very regular, very normal. I was even impressed by this because I see the opposite on television”, he told reporters, as he prepared to leave the health centre.

The goal is to vaccinate 80 percent of people over 80 by March.