At the beginning of the vaccination process in Portugal, cases of improper vaccination arose, which led the IGAS institute, on January 28, 2021, to an inspection process for the implementation of the first phase of this plan to verify compliance with the rules and guidelines applicable to the administration of the vaccine against Covid-19.
At the time, IGAS said that the inspection would cover, at this stage, the five regional health administrations, hospitals, hospital centers and local health units of the National Health Service, as well as some entities that make up the central services of the National Health Service.
The inspection was based on three aspects: criteria for selecting people to be vaccinated within the priority groups, procedures for managing excess doses and measures to prevent waste.
The inspection results have now been published in the IGAS 'newsletter' and indicate that, in total, 272 entities and health units from the public, private and social sectors were investigated, and 10 weekly (interim) reports and a global report were prepared.
Following this inspection, eight clarification processes, 41 investigation processes and six inspection processes were initiated.
The General Inspection of Health Activities established eight inspection processes to verify the conditions of the cold chain in vaccination centers against Covid-19.
In these eight processes, 53 recommendations were issued, says the organisation.
IGAS highlights two recommendations, one of which aimed to ensure that “daily verification of the continuous monitoring of the internal temperature of the cold equipment at the vaccination center allows the systematic recording and identification of deviations in good time, through the establishment of parameters that guarantee an immediate analysis of the detected incidents with reporting to the pharmaceutical services responsible for the vaccine cold chain”.
The other recommendation aims to “ensure that the maximum and minimum limits defined in the 'data logger' [data record] of the vaccination center for the identification of temperature deviations are in accordance with the limits established in the rules of the Directorate-General for Health and in the internal procedures (between 2ºC and 8ºC)”.
IGAS states that, with this action, “it ensured that the vaccination process, in the first phase (where people were vaccinated by priority groups), was carried out in a transparent way, after several indications of inappropriate behaviour that created in the citizens some lack of trust in health authorities.”
In inspections of the conditions of the vaccine cold chain, IGAS sought to ensure “a good use of public resources and the safety of vaccinated people”.
Irregularities in the vaccination process resulted in the dismissal of the 'task force' coordinator for the vaccination plan, Francisco Ramos, who was replaced in office by Vice Admiral Gouveia e Melo.