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Interviewer: Professor Graça, thank you for taking the time
today to discuss some of the considerations which
must be taken to ensure a viable rollout of a new vaccine in a population.
Could you please firstly outline the main steps
taken when creating a vaccine roll-out campaign?
Prof. Graça: Thank you, I have to say that although,
I'm an Immunologist by training,
in the last six months or so
I've been working mainly with the COVID-19 Advisory Committee in Portugal.
We have been looking into the data that are necessary to
ensure a good and fair rollout of the vaccine to the people in need.
Concerning your first question,
there are three main steps that are
needed to be considered when thinking of a roll-out campaign.
One is the vaccine availability over time,
the second is the difference in characteristics of the populations
in greater need of the protection afforded by the vaccine,
and finally, the epidemic situation that we are facing in the country.
These are important for different reasons.
For example, to have a rollout of the vaccine in
a situation where there is a very low incidence of infection.
For example, in a situation like now,
countries like New Zealand
have very few infections in the country.
As a consequence, the rollout of vaccine under
those circumstances may be very different from
a situation where there is
a very high infection rate with a big pressure in the health care system,
like we have been experiencing in Europe at the time of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
The other situation that it is necessary to consider