The flu vaccine is available from this Monday, starting to be administered in the population groups considered priority, such as residents of nursing homes and pregnant women, according to the Directorate-General for Health.
The National Health Service’s vaccination campaign, which usually begins on October 15, begins earlier this year with a first phase for which 350,000 vaccines are available.
Residents in nursing homes, health professionals, professionals in the social sector who provide care and pregnant women are among the most vulnerable sectors and will be the first to be able to be vaccinated.
In the second phase, which will start on October 19, other risk groups are included: people aged 65 and over and people with chronic diseases.
“We want to vaccinate as soon as possible and we are planning with regional health administrations to, if necessary, expand vaccination points to other community structures” in addition to health centers, said the director general of health, Graça Freitas when she announced the vaccination season this year.
Graça Freitas appealed to all people who have a medical indication to get vaccinated, stressing that this year, with the pandemic, it is “even more important that they do it”.
With covid-19 “it is advisable not to have other respiratory infections that can be confused with covid and that require making a diagnosis to see if people have covid or have flu”, he said.
In addition to free vaccines for people included in risk groups, there will be vaccines for sale in pharmacies that can be purchased with a prescription and are reimbursed.
The NHS bought more than two million flu vaccines this year from two different companies, by public tender, but all vaccines are the same.
The flu is a contagious disease and usually cures spontaneously. Complications, when they arise, occur mainly in people with chronic diseases or over 65 years of age.