Portugal to start giving third dose of covid-19 vaccine next week

In Portugal, citizens over 80 years old and nursing homes residents will start to be vaccinated next week.

The country’s Director-General of Health confirmed this Friday that the third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine will begin to be administered in the coming week to people with 65 or more years, prioritising citizens over 80 years and nursing home residents.

At a press conference, Graça Freitas explained that she could not yet indicate a specific day for the start of this operation because she is awaiting the opinion of the World Health Organisation (WHO), which should come out in the next few days, on the possibility of administering this booster dose at the same time as the flu vaccine.

“The co-administration would be great for people because it is more comfortable to get vaccinated on a single occasion – and also for our services and for logistics. But the intention has not yet been confirmed, and we are anxiously awaiting this WHO document”, she said.

If there is no authorisation for coadministration, the 14-day interval between the flu vaccine and the Covid vaccine will continue. “What we could use is coadministration”, she acknowledged, noting, however, that “everything is prepared to advance the plan B,” if necessary.

As the Ministry of Health had already stated, the third dose of the covid vaccine and the flu vaccine will be administered both in health centres and in 339 vaccination points that will remain open, depending on population density and the characteristics of the population. The vaccination regime will be “very similar” to the one in force for the first two doses of the vaccine.