DGS publishes vaccination priorities for incoming refugees

… and they’re not COVID-19

Portugal DGS health authority has today published a new rule defining strategies for vaccinating foreign nationals arriving in Portugal under ‘situations of temporary protection’.

Top priority are vaccines against measles and polio.

It is actually remarkable how little the DGS has said about vaccinations against Covid-19 since the start of the refugee influx.

There was a passing mention a few days ago, in which it was mentioned that incoming Ukrainians would be able to be vaccinated “if they chose to”. But there was no indication that authorities would be pushing the shots.

Today, a statement by the DGS has simply said: “Portugal has received thousands of people from countries in armed conflict or in other very unfavourable situations, with a national programme in place to welcome citizens in the context of temporary protection in which health care is provided.

“One of the priorities for the arrival of these citizens in Portugal is vaccination, within the scope of the National Vaccination Programme and other national vaccination strategies”.

“Other national vaccination strategies” will mean Covid-19 jabs, but the virus itself is only mentioned at the very end of the statement sent out to news outlets. (It has to be said there has also been next to zero mention of ‘Covid-infected refugees’ or refugees suffering from Covid throughout reports on the war.

The DGS simply “recommends” that incoming foreigners “take advantage of vaccine cover against tuberculosis, Covid-19 and seasonal flu”.

“These recommendations comply with provisions of the National Vaccination Programme (Ordinance 248/2017; Norm 18/2020), which determines that all people present in Portugal have the right to be vaccinated in accordance with the provisions of the PNV 2020 (Norm 18/2020),” says the statement.

According to Our World in Data, around 36% of the Ukraine population has been vaccinated against Covid-19.

Meantime, residents flying to UK recently have reported there are no requirements any more to show proof of vaccination status or negative tests (antigen or PCR), either to leave the country, or when returning.