The High Commission for Migration (ACM) reported to Lusa that, since March, 160,000 records had been submitted on the platform that the General Directorate of Health (DGS) created to identify citizens without a user number to enable their registration in the Covid-19 Vaccination Plan.

The plan determines that vaccination against Covid-19 in Portugal is universal and, therefore, “is intended for any person residing in Portugal and is independent of their status”.

In fact, as the ACM recalls, “foreign citizens who do not hold a document proving a residence permit, and who do not have any of the documents provided for” in the legislation in force, “have access to health care under the same terms as the population in general (…), namely with regard to communicable diseases that represent a danger or threat to public health, in particular, epidemiological infection by Covid-19, as well as tuberculosis or HIV, for example, and vaccination, according to the Program National Vaccination in force”.

The 160,000 registrations registered since March are now being verified, as there have been situations in which citizens register several times, or in the case of registrations by people for whom the platform is not intended.

“Once the conditions of access have been verified, citizens registered on that platform are being contacted by the health authorities”, by telephone (via 808 24 24 24) for clarifications that may be necessary, or by SMS (text message) through the number 2424, with appointment to the reference vaccination centre.

The ACM emphasises that, “as recommended by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), regarding the vaccination of foreign citizens, the vaccination process is seperate from the ongoing migration process, promoting confidence in the process.”

In this sense, the ACM does not have “elements referring to the number of irregular foreign citizens registered on that platform”.

“The ACM is collaborating to ensure contact, in an accessible language, with all citizens who have signed up for the platform, with a view to speedy scheduling of vaccination, as it is promoting the dissemination of information and facilitating access to the process, through direct contact with migrants and through the network of partners”, the organisation said.

So far more than 267,000 foreign citizens have been vaccinated against Covid-19.