Fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine for over-80s before autumn

Rollout to begin at end of August or start of September

Portugal’s Health Minister confirmed on Monday that a fourth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine will be rolled out to citizens aged over 80 starting at the end of August or start of September.

“The issue now is knowing what the best time is to move forward with this fourth dose,” said Marta Temido during a visit to Porto’s São João Hospital.

“Given the characteristics of this virus, and with the epidemiological situation relatively under control, what seems to make the most sense is for that moment to happen only before the start of autumn or winter, so at the end of August or start of September,” the minister added.

Temido also said the rollout of a booster dose for people aged over 80 is “in line with the stance by the European Medicines Agency”.

The minister added that “evidence is not completely clear yet” that a fourth dose for people aged 60 to 80 could be beneficial, while there seems to be “some clarity” regarding the idea that a fourth dose for people aged below 60 will not be necessary.

Meanwhile, immunocompromised citizens are already being prescribed a fourth dose, said Temido, adding that Portugal is prepared to continue administering vaccines as necessary.