Ana Paula Martins, who was received at a hearing by the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, in Belém, said at the end of the meeting that the pharmacies' vaccination contingent, which corresponds to 240,000 doses, together with the 100,000 doses of the National Health Service (NHS) contingent delivered to pharmacies, should be exhausted by the end of this week.

"Next week more vaccines will arrive, we still do not know what their distribution will be," added the Order of Pharmacists, stressing that the commitment that pharmacies have made is to vaccinate 700,000 people by the end of the vaccination campaign against influenza, which runs until December.

For Ana Paula Martins, the distribution of the next doses must correspond to "a balance" that the Ministry of Health will have to find between the needs and schedules already made by health centres and the vaccination that has to be done by pharmacies.

"It's a complex process, it's true that it could have been better coordinated, but at the moment we're on the ground and we're managing to respond with the vaccines we have," she said.

The large influx to pharmacies of people wanting to get vaccinated this year is explained by the context of the pandemic and the importance that flu vaccination was assumed as a measure of protection against Covid-19.

"We have many people who have never been vaccinated and now want to be vaccinated. It has to be said clearly that the groups at risk are the ones who gain most from vaccination," he said.

"I have a great conviction that in the next two weeks, with the process already under way, with less anxiety and less expectation on the part of the Portuguese, I believe that we will be able to convey some serenity, and that in the next two weeks, as people get vaccinated, this will lessen the feeling of mistrust about not having a vaccine," she added.