Corroborating that physicians and other health professionals “should be considered as priorities”, the OM defended “a change in the operationalisation criteria of population groups with already known risk factors, privileging, for example, the factor of age, which would facilitate the identification of target groups and would reduce mortality, morbidity and pressure on services ”.

To justify this conviction, the order led by Miguel Guimarães emphasises that "the lethality rate varies from about 0.3% in the 50 to 59 age group to 13.6% in the 80 age group".

“In this sense, professionals and residents in nursing homes, long-term care units and those elderly people who are directly followed by families, would benefit from the vaccine in the first stage. Likewise, as far as health professionals are concerned, we defend that the factor of age and associated diseases should be considered in the initial selection, regardless of the health unit, region of the country or sector in which they develop their activity ”, they argue.

In a letter addressed to the ministry of Marta Temido, the OM also expressed “concern about the lack of operational criteria for health professionals who do not work in the SNS [National Health Service]”.

The Covid-19 Regional Vaccination Plan establishes three phases, starting with the older population and health professionals, public and private, followed by people with comorbidities and then the rest of the population.

Estimates indicate that 50 thousand people will be vaccinated in the first phase; another 50 thousand in the second phase, and, finally, 100 thousand people.

The vaccination campaign started on Sunday in Portugal, like other countries in the European Union.

The vaccine is optional, free and universal, and is provided by the SNS.