Vaccine roll out – What you need to know

By Paula Martins, in COVID-19 · 12-02-2021 01:00:00 · 10 Comments

Vaccines for Covid-19 have been a hope for many, but the roll out of vaccines in Portugal has been slow with approximately 400,000 vaccines administrated up until now, namely to health professionals and in nursing homes. Find out what you need to know about the vaccination plan.

Like other European countries, Portugal created a dose management plan for vaccines. Then, these restricted doses have to be administered in a short period of time to keep its effectiveness. For this reason and to guarantee that the vaccine gets to those who need it the most first, the Government has created a system – vaccination plan – divided into three phases.

Three phases of vaccination
These three phases cover several subgroups of the population and depends largely on the availability of doses- changes were made to this strategy, such as the recent enlargement to the over 80 age group.

Right now, the country is in the first phase, which it has been since 27 December. To summarise, the first phase included health professionals, residents in nursing homes, users of long-term care units and professionals from these institutions to follow users, armed forces professionals, security forces and critical services, as well as people over 50 with associated pathologies such as heart failure, renal insufficiency (TFG<60ml/min), COPD or chronic respiratory disease under ventilator support or long-term oxygen therapy.

More recently, elderly people over 80 were included in this first group, as well as holders of sovereign bodies and senior positions with functions in the framework of the state of emergency. According to the National Health Service (SNS), in this phase, about 950,000 people should be vaccinated.

In the second vaccination phase, it is planned to vaccinate people over 65 and people between 50 and 64 years old with one of the following pathologies: heart failure, coronary heart disease, kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or chronic respiratory disease under ventilator support and / or long-term oxygen therapy.

The third phase is reserved for the remaining population residing in Portugal. If the calendar of the previous groups is changed, third and fourth priority groups can be defined at this stage.

What we have to do?

According to the instructions provided in the presentation of the vaccination plan, health authorities will be the ones to identify and contact people in the priority groups. People included in priority groups for the first phase of vaccination against Covid-19 will be contacted by SMS or will receive a call to say whether or not they want to be vaccinated. If they answer yes, a new SMS will be delivered for scheduling with a date, time and place. If there is no phone number, a letter will be sent as a means of contact for scheduling a vaccine.

For people who do not have a family doctor in the health centre it is up to the citizen themselves to contact the health centres, providing a medical declaration from a private or insurance doctor that attests to the need for vaccination. The medical declaration is issued electronically, through the Electronic Medical Prescription, and the patient is informed by SMS.

Health professionals were vaccinated in hospitals, but to the following priority groups, vaccines will predominantly be administered in health centres, with a total of 733 vaccination points across the country, where it is estimated that 40,000 vaccines can be administered per day. For people in nursing homes or care units, vaccines should be given on site. According to DGS, after the vaccination of groups at risk, it is foreseen the expansion of vaccination points, however, it is not yet clear how this enlargement will begin.

Further information is available online about the Covid-19 response in Portugal and the current situation at there is also a simulator to check when you may receive your vaccine in Portugal which can be found here:

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I am 77. I have an aortic valve prolapse in the danger zone. I am a citizen if the country and I pay taxes here. I have been neglected and a used by your disgusting xenophobic medical system. I am a citizen of this country, and I am terrified that I will die, before I get the vaccine. Portugal is a disgrace for foreigners! I have documentation that your system has abused and neglected me. I will leave this country as soon as I am free to. Hopefully, I will leave alive. I wish the same treatment for the Portuguese who go to America that you hateful people have given to me! Shame on Portugal! I write about my once chosen country to all my American friends daily! The world needs to know how you treat foreigners!

By Eileen vicente from Porto on 27-03-2021 08:52

My 91 year old father is a EU citizen and resident of Austria who spends his winter months in the Algarve. Been doing so for years. Due to his fragile condition (cancer survivor and chronic bronchitis) he has been unable to return to Austria for his vaccination. The Portuguese won't vaccinate him. So much for a united Europe, and shame on Portugal for treating its "fellow Europeans" so poorly. There are clearly many in similar circumstances in Portugal and elsewhere in Europe ... but from what I have seen only Portugal is behaving like this!

By Danilo Delfini from Other on 20-03-2021 06:35

I am 84 with Cancer and Dietetic and need a jab. I am resident for over 30 years and live in Almancil

By David Homersham from Algarve on 20-03-2021 12:05

Simple, I have a legal right to medical treatment in the Algarve but even registering had been an issue. Getting the jab has been dismissed, maybe in 2934 if I am lucky. EU you should be ashamed

By Ken from Algarve on 04-03-2021 09:37

Like many foreign residents who are in the highest risk due heart and kidney issues, with a wife who know qualifies due her age 86, both of us with family doctor it is disheartening to be in the dark about obvious issues with supplies etc., It should be included in the round up of cases and deaths ...

By Peter Maclean from Algarve on 27-02-2021 01:01

I am an American/Portuguese citizen I pay taxes in Portugal, and I have lived here for 14 years. I have been refused public health for at least 5years, and I finally paid for private insurance. I have paid for my own health care. It has cost me thousands. Now I must deal with the local health cener for the vaccine. What a joke! I will get my vaccine in another 20 years. The xenophobia here is a disgrace. I have a heart condition .

By Eileen Vicente from Other on 25-02-2021 11:29

Despite being an EU citizen (German), living 6 months in the year in Portugal, I am informed by the health center in Tavira that I am not eligible for a covid vaccination, as I don't have residency. Where else can I get this vaccination?

By Sandra von Bentzen from Algarve on 17-02-2021 01:37

My husband had cardiomyopathy and has a letter from his cardiologist to say he is on the priority list for vaccination. The local health centre assure him his priority details will be on file, and don't want/ need a copy of this letter. He still has not received notification for vaccination. Yet his age ( nearly 75) and his cardiomyopathy mean that he should be a priority.

By Jane Linda M Bovey from Algarve on 14-02-2021 07:18

"For people who do not have a family doctor in the health centre" yep, that's me, I have tried repeatedly to get private clinics to refer me to the SNS according to the electronics prescription process detailed here. I have even told them how to do it but I just get stonewalled and told I have to go to the Centro de Saude, infuriating. Would greatly appreciate anyone posting on here clinics that will actually follow the government advised proces, I live in the Loule area. Stay safe.

By John ADAMS from Algarve on 13-02-2021 01:00

Good afternoon,
My wife and I are presently in Italy due to travel restrictions and quarantine to return to Tavira
We want to take the vaccination in Centro de Saude in Tavira where we reside in Quinta de Morgado.
We are ready to travel to Tavira as soon as restrictions are lifted both in Italy and Portugal.
No dates are given about period of vaccination for people aged like we are , 67 my wife and 75 myself.
Neither indications are provided as to where to go and the people to address about booking the injection and how .
Because we are totally unaware of the instructions on what to do would you please indicate where to address our queries for information and to whom we should contact?

Thank you.


Giuliano and Loredana Bertolazzi

By Giuliano Bertolazzi from Algarve on 12-02-2021 02:06
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