Porto City Hall and Hospital de S. João wish that the drive-thru vaccination centre commences operations

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Rui Moreira and Fernando Araújo have signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the drive-thru vaccination centre at the Queimódromo, launched as a joint effort by the Municipality of Porto and the Hospital de São João. The equipment is ready since February and has the capacity to inoculate up to two thousand people per day. The support that this drive-thru vaccination centre can provide represents a cornerstone in the action to easing pressures on the Health Group Centres (ACES), as it enables professionals to focus their attention on the health care that must be provided to their beneficiaries.

Both the Mayor of Porto and the Chairman of the Board of Administration of the University Hospital Centre of São João consider this the main advantage of the drive-thru vaccination centre at the Queimódromo, as the model that was set up, where people are inoculated when inside their own cars (which worked greatly regarding PCR tests), would be a “safe and expedite way” of ensuring the administration of vaccines to the population.

However, and according to the account by the councillor for Housing and Social Cohesion, Fernando Paulo, following the signing of the MoU, which took place at the D. Maria Room, at Porto City Hall, the fact is that “we are still waiting for authorization” for operating this vaccination centre, as it is up to the Regional Health Administration (ARS Norte) to grant permission to start the operation, but so far, this entity presided by Carlos Nunes has been silent about this matter.

“As there are planned solutions, which are valid alternatives, it is a pity that they are being wasted”, affirmed Fernando Araújo, also enhancing that this aspect would, in fact, be an added value in easing the pressure on the National Health Service, even because it has been conceived under the premise of “ensuring an easy model for both online and in-person scheduling”.

Mayor Rui Moreira also considers this the model that provides more guarantees, as regards “[vaccine] waste prevention”, optimizing human resources and available shots, which exist in larger numbers now. Rui Moreira furthered that some of the vaccination sites in the city (most of them located nearby schools that are temporarily assigned to this new community service) have caused traffic constraints in the surrounding areas. In the event of having the drive-thru vaccination centre running in the Queimódromo (Parque da Cidade), this would not be a problem.

“The day they [task-force] wish for that to happen, the place will be made available”, concluded Mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira.

During the meeting, the Chairman of the board of Administration of the University Centre of the Hospital de São João, Fernando Araújo raised the need to review the value chain circuits, even because during the first lockdown “it was a nightmare” to procure and purchase “goods and services” as a public entity, “when price is still the most relevant factor”, affirmed Fernando Araújo.

The signing of the MoU regarding the drive-thru vaccination centre had already been approved, by unanimous vote of the Municipal Executive, last April.