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Portugal Leader Rejects Elderly Wait for Vaccine

Αssociated Press

Portugal s Prime Minister Antonio Costa arrives for an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys, Pool)

LISBON, Portugal -- Portugal’s prime minister is repudiating a report saying that elderly people could be put at the back of the line when COVID-19 vaccinations become available.

Prime Minister Antonio Costa tweeted Friday, “There are technical criteria which can never be accepted by politicians. It is inadmissible to stop protecting life in accordance with age. Lives have no expiry date.”

Costa's comments appeared to corroborate a report in weekly newspaper Expresso on Friday that officials tasked with drawing up the country’s vaccination plans had proposed in a draft document that healthy people over 65 would be among the last to be inoculated.

The spokesman for Portugal’s National Health Council, Jorge Torgal, told Portuguese radio station TSF the draft was drawn up at a time when scientific evidence suggested vaccines would not be effective in the elderly.

The Portuguese government has been widely criticized for its delay in drawing up its vaccine plans.

Prime Minister Antonio Costa tweeted Friday, “There are technical criteria which can never be accepted by politicians. It is inadmissible to stop protecting life in accordance with age. Lives have no expiry date.”

Costa's comments appeared to corroborate a report in weekly newspaper Expresso on Friday that officials tasked with drawing up the country’s vaccination plans had proposed in a draft document that healthy people over 65 would be among the last to be inoculated.

The spokesman for Portugal’s National Health Council, Jorge Torgal, told Portuguese radio station TSF the draft was drawn up at a time when scientific evidence suggested vaccines would not be effective in the elderly.

The Portuguese government has been widely criticized for its delay in drawing up its vaccine plans.