Portugal wants ‘immediate’ plan to vaccinate refugees

“These are severe and tough situations that we must manage effectively,” she added. [Shutterstock/Mohammad Bash]

Portugal’s secretary of state for European affairs Ana Paula Zacarias on Tuesday urged for an “immediate and effective” plan to get the COVID-19 vaccines to people living in refugee camps.

“This is a humanitarian issue that needs a speedy and immediate approach […] given the difficult and complicated situation of the people living in the refugee camps, a population even more affected by the pandemic,” she told the Portuguese parliament.

“These are severe and tough situations that we must manage effectively,” she added.

She expressed her hope that the increasing production of vaccines worldwide would allow not only a “greater availability of vaccines for sale, for those who can buy them” but also “to trigger the Covax procurement mechanisms and, at the same time, improve support and solidarity systems, whether bilateral or those that may be established in the framework of European cooperation”.

Covax is an international initiative that guarantees access to Covid-19 ​​​​​​​vaccines in low and middle-income countries. It has acquired two million doses that allow at least 20% of the population to be vaccinated by the end of 2021.

(Joana Gomes | Lusa.pt)

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