08 July 2021
Unilabs launches mass vaccination drive-through in Porto, Portugal
Geneva, 8 July 2021: Unilabs, the leading European diagnostic group, has opened a large-scale vaccination drive-through at the Queimódromo in Porto, Portugal, in partnership with ARS-Norte, Câmara Municipal do Porto, Hospital de São João, and Centro Hospitalar do Porto.
The drive-through, which has previously been used exclusively for Covid-19 testing, was reorganised to add a separate vaccination area, helping the Portuguese health authorities deliver their vaccine program more quickly.
“With the emergence of new, more infectious variants such as the Delta variant, it is more vital than ever to get people vaccinated,” said Luis Menezes, CEO of Unilabs Portugal. “Clearly the quicker people get jabbed, the sooner we can start to think of getting back to normal – and creative solutions like the Queimódromo drive-through can only help speed this process up. We hope to vaccinate more people, more quickly, with the opening of new centres like this one.”
The facility will focus on vaccinating people who have not yet been vaccinated, according to criteria defined by the vaccination taskforce, with a maximum target of 2,000 vaccinations per day.
Unilabs provides a wide range of reliable Covid-19 tests across its network, including antibody testing that helps evaluate patient immune response to the vaccine – in essence, checking that the vaccine has done its job. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Unilabs has performed more than 12 million Covid-19 tests around the world – PCR, antibody, and antigen.
As the virus mutates, Unilabs is introducing innovative new techniques and technologies to improve, speed up, and broaden testing. This includes tests that specifically identify variants such as the Delta and Delta plus variant, as well as new kinds of tests such as saliva or gargling tests.
In countries like Portugal, France, Switzerland, Sweden Spain, the UK, and the UAE, data from Unilabs’ testing efforts is being used to track the spread of variants – helping health authorities put in place targeted measures to contain the virus. A data-driven approach will result in “smarter” lockdowns, save lives, and minimise the economic fall-out.
With a network of labs and experts across 16 countries, Unilabs is working with companies, health authorities, and governments to design effective testing strategies. Unilabs recently signed an agreement to incorporate Unilabs’ worldwide Covid-19 testing network into IATA Travel Pass, the travel app of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Alistair Hammond, Director of Communications
t: +44 771 773 0441
Unilabs is one of Europe’s largest diagnostics companies, offering a complete range of laboratory, pathology, and imaging services to patients all around the world.
With 250 labs, 150 imaging centres, and more than 1,500 collection centres across 16 countries, Unilabs’ 12,000-plus people save lives every day.
Unilabs is fully engaged in the fight against Covid-19 – investing heavily in technology, equipment, and people to deliver fast, reliable Covid-19 tests. Using dedicated new labs in Portugal, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK and the UAE, Unilabs’ capacity is more than 500,000 Covid-19 tests per week – and rising.