Covid-19 vaccine booster already taken by 42% of currently eligible

  • Lusa
  • 8 November 2021

According to data released by DGS, around 811,000 people have been vaccinated against flu in Portugal and 352,000 received the booster shot against Covid-19.

About 811,000 people have been vaccinated against flu in Portugal and 352,000 received the booster shot against Covid-19, according to data released on Sunday by the national health authority, the DGS, which said that the process would accelerate from Monday.

“The Directorate-General of Health (DGS) considers vaccination against influenza a priority, with about 811,000 people already vaccinated, of which almost 271,000 in pharmacies, and approximately 350,000 scheduled for the coming days,” reads a DGS statement.

According to the DGS, the process of vaccination against flu and Covid-19 “will thus accelerate” from Monday, with users eligible for booster doses of Covid-19 vaccines being summoned to be vaccinated against both diseases.

“Of the 1,500,000 users who will be eligible for the booster dose by mid-December, about 840,000 are eligible as of today, with approximately 351,000 already vaccinated, or 42%,” it announced. “Of the remaining shots, more than 35,000 are already scheduled for the next few days.”

People eligible for the booster dose are those aged 65 or over and who have been fully vaccinated for at least 180 days, as well as those under 65 with immunosuppressive conditions who are authorised by their doctor, through an electronic declaration, it explained.

The DGS stressed that vaccination against flu and Covid-19 “is essential to minimise the risk of spreading the SARS-CoV-2 virus and influenza virus, and to reduce the occurrence of serious illness.

“Vaccination is very important especially at this time of year, when the co-circulation of various respiratory viruses is expected and when the impact of low temperatures on the health of the population may also be seen,” it stresses.

Self-scheduling by people aged 70 or more will take place from Monday and, according to the DGS, the Covid-19 portal can schedule the administration of both vaccines at the same time. However, at centres, patients may opt to take only one of them, it adds.

Patients continue to be called by text message to take both the flu and Covid-19 vaccine, or only for the flu vaccine (if they are not eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine).

From Monday, people aged 80 and above will be able to go to a walk-in vaccination centre and ask for a booster dose of the covid-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine.

“Before going to a vaccination centre, they should consult the walk-in schedule of the vaccination centre in their area of residence and seek, whenever possible, the afternoon periods, which generally have less crowding,” the DGS advises.

Vaccination against flu began on September 27 in Portugal, earlier than usual due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with 2.24 million vaccines to be distributed free of charge to at-risk groups by the National Health Service (SNS).