Stampede for flu vaccines: pharmacies compile waiting lists

With flu vaccines only ‘free’ to a limited number of people, there is a veritable stampede of people ‘booking their shots’ at pharmacies to become available by the end of October.

Tabloid Correio da Manhã says some outlets already have waiting lists of up to 400 people.

Meantime, the campaign to start protecting seniors in old people’s homes, pregnant women and residents in ‘continuous care’ facilities begins today.

From October 11, the flu vaccine will be ‘freely available’ at vaccination centres to all those over the age of 65 – and by the end of the month it will start being administered by pharmacies, at a cost, to anyone who wants it.

Portugal’s DGS health authority has purchased around three million doses of the flu vaccine this year – the plan being that 1.8 million doses will be administered by vaccination centres, a further 200,000 will go to residents in old people’s homes, another 200,000 to the over-65s and 700,000 doses will be made available to pharmacies.

From today (September 27) citizens eligible for a free vaccine will be contacted by SMS, telefone or letter.

Flu shots without State support will cost €14.10; with State support they will cost €8.88.