Covid-19 and flu vaccination campaign begins today, for the over 60's

COVID-19 AND FLU VACCINATION CAMPAIGN BEGINS TODAY, FOR THE OVER 60'SThe vaccination campaign against Covid-19 and influenza begins this Friday in National Health Service units and pharmacies, covering people over 60 years of age, people with high-risk illnesses, healthcare professionals and those working in nursing homes.

Community pharmacies will administer the covid-19 vaccine to people over 60 for the first time.

The expectation is to that between 2 and 2.5 million people will be vaccinated, according to the deputy director general of Health, André Peralta Santos,

In the SNS, vaccination will be carried out for people under 60 years of age with risk pathologies, pregnant women and professionals in health services (public and private) and other health care services, students in clinical internship, firefighters involved in the transport of patients and caregivers to dependent people.

There will also be vaccinations carried out in homes, in the integrated continued care network and in prisons, carried out by professionals from the National Health Service.

Community pharmacies will administer the covid-19 vaccine to people over 60 years of age for the first time, with around 6,000 pharmacists qualified to do so in the more than 2,300 pharmacies that have joined the 2023/2024 seasonal vaccination campaign.

The president of the Portuguese Pharmacy Association, Manuela Pacheco, stated that “everything is ready” to start vaccination and that the uptake by users has been “very high”, not only on the online scheduling platform, but locally, with people asking to have the vaccines.

Manuela Pacheco said that appointments have to be “very well scheduled, very well tuned”, because you cannot run “the risk of making waste and then having vaccines go missing”.

“What we do is take note of vaccination intentions, especially because the user is free to choose the vaccine or vaccines they want to take and whether they want to take them together or wait”, he said, ensuring that “it is not due to lack of access that the Portuguese will not get vaccinated”, since “there are more than 1,000 public clinics” and more than 2,300 pharmacies where they can do so.

Furthermore, he highlighted, the seasonal vaccination campaign never started so early: “Last year was in the second half of October, just like two years ago. Now our time is much better organised, everything is very well phased and I think this gives us a certain peace of mind,” to develop this experience for which the pharmacists were trained.

According to the president of the association, the pharmacies that requested the vaccines are already receiving them, ensuring that there will be no shortages of vaccines.

“This year there will be no shortage of vaccines, we will have an extended period of administration and we will have a diversification of administration locations so that even in the most remote villages there will be a pharmacy that will administer them. Therefore, I don't think this is a problem, on the contrary, and we have to reassure people, especially because we are at the beginning of autumn, but we still have a lot of summer leftovers,” she said.

For Manuela Pacheco, pharmacies being able to administer the vaccine against Covid-19 is “a recognition” that they have been looking forward to “for a long time”.

Source https://postal.pt/ 

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