Swift transport to vaccination sites under the Protocol between Porto City Hall and Taxi companies

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Filipa Brito

This weekend, 17th and 18th April, non-teaching and teaching staff of lower secondary and secondary education will be vaccinated against the new coronavirus. Those who have been summoned to take the vaccine can opt to travel by taxi, under the protocol established between the Municipality of Porto and the Taxi companies operating in the city, in order to avoid traffic constraints.

According to the Health Centres in the Western and Eastern part of the city (ACES), there are circa 2.500 people that have been summoned to get the first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine, namely non-teaching and teaching staff; this takes place after Primary schools teachers, educators and non-teaching staff received their Covid-19 vaccine.

Vaccination takes place at Escola Básica António Aroso, at Escola Básica do Sol, at the Hospital Militar,at the Centro de Saúde do Vale Formoso, at PORTIC – Centro de Investigação e Inovação do Instituto Politécnico do Porto, and at the premises of the Escola Superior de Enfermagem.

This cooperation agreement, signed with Ráditaxis and with Táxis Invicta kicked-off of in the beginning of the vaccination programme, and it is especially important, as due to this ongoing pandemic, the taxi business has experienced a terrible crisis.

The Municipality of Porto supports taxi rides in town to transport residents to and from vaccination centres, namely the Health Centres in the Western and Eastern part of the city, and that Taxi fares are two euros per one-way trip, and round-trips are 4 euros. Residents (and attendants) should call a taxi via the phone number 939 955 263. For each taxi trip, the Municipality of Porto will cover costs up to a maximum of six euros.

As of 9th March, both taxi companies - Táxis Invicta and Ráditaxis- have taken more than two thousand trips to and from vaccination sites.

It is worth mentioning that Porto City Hall has built a robust program for the administration of vaccines in the city, with a capacity to inoculate circa 2000 people per day; the drive-thru vaccination centre, set up in the Queimódromo, is ready to go since February. The Municipality of Porto has been in constant communication with the two ACES [Health Centre Groups) in the city and articulated the availability of vaccination sites. In line with the request by the National Vaccination Task Force to increase capacity, the Municipality of Porto provided the School António Aroso to the ACES Ocidental, and a tent that will serve as a recovery site for the ACES Oriental.