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September 29, 2021

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Vaccine uptake reflected in Covid control in Portugal and Bulgaria

By Paul Dennis

29 September

In January 2021, Portugal reported 306,000 total cases of Covid-19 (with around 9,000 new cases reported daily).

Since then, Portugal has successfully reduced the number to approximately 1,200 daily new cases in September.

The country has mitigating measures in place to reduce the spread of the virus; the measures include curfews, social distancing, the use of face coverings, and the introduction of vaccine passports and negative testing before entering specific events.

Around 83% of Portugal’s population have now been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

As much of the population has been vaccinated, the Portuguese government has decided to lift all restrictions on Friday the 1st of October 2021.

Mask-wearing will still be compulsory in some areas, and digital vaccination certificates or negative tests will be required when entering nightclubs.

The measures in place should be effective in controlling the Covid-19 outbreak in Portugal, given the level of vaccine immunity within the population.

Bulgaria is the least vaccinated country in the EU, with less than 19% of the population fully vaccinated.

In July, the country experienced a reduction in the number of cases (there were 120 new cases reported daily), but since then the number of new cases has been trending upwards to around 2,000 daily new cases.

As such a low percentage of the population are vaccinated, the number of hospitalizations and deaths are surging (with over 1,800 deaths recorded so far in September).

The lack of vaccination uptake is attributed to vaccine skepticism, so the government must educate citizens regarding vaccination and act to dispel myths that are circulating within the population.

While bars and restaurants have been closed since the 7th of September to prevent a surge of the virus, there is still concern that infections, hospitalization, and deaths will continue to rise.

Anna Moody, MRES, Epidemiologist at GlobalData

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