"We are within what was our expectation at this stage. The process has been extending from week to week," Minister Manuel Pizarro revealed today, explaining that so far "about 250,000 people have joined the two vaccines".

A fortnight ago, on 7 September, a new vaccination campaign started with 2nd generation vaccines adapted to the Omicron variant of covid-19 and that intends to immunise about three million people until December.

The process began for those over 80 years old with comorbidities and is again taking place in a staggered manner, by age groups, advancing as schedules in the highest age group are exhausted.

People aged 60 and over, residents and professionals in nursing homes and the national long-term care network, people aged 12 and over with diseases at risk, pregnant women aged 18 and over and diseases defined by the Directorate-General for Health (DGS), and health professionals and other care providers are eligible to be vaccinated.

"People are less alert to these infections, but it's even before winter comes that we should prevent them," Pizarro told reporters at the end of a meeting with the head of the Coordinating Centre for Support to the Ministry of Health (NCAMS), Carlos Penha Gonçalves, in which the secretary of state for Health Promotion, Margarida Tavares, and the director-general of Health, Graça Freitas, also participated.

Manuel Pizarro assured that there is no shortage of stock: "We have vaccines for all the patients that are scheduled in the coming weeks, but we are still receiving vaccines".

Around 2.1 million vaccines for influenza and more than three million for covid-19 have been ordered: "We are not worried about the lack of vaccines", he assured.

Asked about the DGS' recommendation of the return of wearing masks indoors, namely in public transport and pharmacies, the minister said that at the moment the focus is on vaccination.

"There will be a time to take other measures," he said, stressing again that "the most important thing now is to make an appeal so that people, when they are called, adhere to the vaccination.