The first batch of vaccines had arrived in Portugal the day before and had been developed by Pfizer-BioNTech. Because vaccines were still scarce worldwide, the first batch was intended for health professionals, who were more exposed to Covid-19.

Vaccines, also developed by other pharmaceutical companies, would arrive regularly in the country, first for people from groups considered to be a priority (such as the elderly, those with illnesses, or health professionals, workers in homes, and essential services) then extended to the entire population.

Two years ago, on this date, Covid-19 (nine months after the first case registered in the country) had already caused 6,556 deaths, out of the 392,996 confirmed cases of infection, according to data from the Directorate-General for Health at the time.

The vaccine has been administered in the last two years to almost all age groups (from five years old), with all people over 25 having received at least one dose, and booster doses were given, with currently available (as of the 22nd) booster vaccination for people over 50 years old in the “Open House” modality, without the need for an appointment.

The modality also remains available for priority professional groups (using digital passwords) and for the vaccination and booster of people between 18 and 59 years old and primary vaccination above 12 years old.

According to the latest official data, the current autumn-winter booster vaccination campaign has already covered more than 2.9 million people.

Eight different types of vaccines are currently available in Portugal and according to the Ministry of Health, in the two years of the vaccination program, between first doses and booster doses, 26.5 million doses were administered.

A balance sheet by the Ministry of Health also indicates that almost 2.1 million doses were discarded due to the expiry date, corresponding to 5.5% of the total, one of the lowest rates in Europe.