The flu vaccine is starting this Monday available to more population groups with the start of the second phase of the campaign, which extends vaccination to people aged 65 and over and people with chronic diseases.
The National Health Service’s vaccination campaign kicked off on 28 September, with a first phase that included only those segments of the population considered to be a priority, such as residents in nursing homes, pregnant women and health and social professionals who provide care.
In the second phase, which starts this Monday, the vaccine will also be administered to other groups at risk: people aged 65 and over and people with chronic diseases.
The vaccination campaign usually starts only on 15 October, but this year it started earlier due to the covid-19 pandemic. “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 Health Director-General Graça Freitas when he announced this year’s vaccination season.
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”.
“It is good 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. In the first phase, 350 thousand doses were available. The flu is a contagious disease and it usually cures spontaneously. Complications, when they arise, occur mainly in people with chronic diseases or over 65 years of age.