“It is estimated that the target of 85% of the population with complete vaccination will be reached in the last days of this month”, told Lusa the structure led by Vice Admiral Henrique Gouveia e Melo.

The complete vaccination of 85% of residents in Portugal is the benchmark set by the Government to advance to the third and final phase of the plan to alleviate the restrictions imposed to control the pandemic.

"There are sanitary conditions for us to confidently advance to the new phase foreseen since July in the Government's plan, but we do not want any accusation of electoralism," a member of the executive told the Lusa agency, after being asked about the reason for the relief measures to to approve in the Council of Ministers do not come into force already at 00:00 on Saturday, but only on October 1st.

Last Thursday, at the Infarmed meeting that brought together experts and politicians, Gouveia e Melo said that about 400,000 people in the country would be vaccinated, of which 150,000 recovered [from the infection] and still not eligible to be immunized against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

According to Tuesday's data from the Directorate-General for Health (DGS), more than 8.5 million people already have full vaccination against covid-19, which makes Portugal two percentage points away from reaching the target of 85%.

The weekly DGS report indicates that 83% of the population has completed vaccination against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and 86% – almost 8.9 million people – already have at least one dose of the vaccine.

In Portugal, since March 2020, 17,933 people have died and 1,063,991 confirmed cases of infection have been recorded, according to data from the DGS.

The respiratory disease is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, detected in late 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China, and currently with variants identified in countries such as the United Kingdom, India, South Africa, Brazil or Peru.