At the press conference accompanying the covid-19 pandemic, Graça Freitas said that the National Health Service's vaccination campaign, which usually starts on October 15, will begin earlier with a first phase for which 350,000 vaccines are available.

Residents in nursing homes, health professionals, social workers who provide care and pregnant women are among the most vulnerable sectors and will be the first to be vaccinated, she said.

In the second phase, which will begin on October 19, other risk groups are included: people aged 65 and over and people with chronic diseases.

"We want to vaccinate as soon as possible and we are planning with regional health administrations to, if necessary, expand vaccination points to other community structures" in addition to health centres, said the head of DGS.

Graça Freitas appealed to everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated, stressing that this year, with the pandemic, it is "even more important than ever to get vaccinated ".

In addition to free vaccines for people included in risk groups, there will be vaccines for sale in pharmacies that can be purchased with a prescription and can then be reimbursed.

In total, the NHS bought more than two million flu vaccines this year from two different companies, by public tender.

One of the companies has already delivered 150 thousand doses, to be distributed by the administrations and “very quickly” another delivery will arrive.