More than 7.3 million vaccines administered in Portugal in 2023


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The Ministry of Health announced today that, in 2023, more than 7.3 million vaccines were administered in Portugal as part of the National Vaccination Program (PNV) and the seasonal vaccination campaign against influenza and covid-19.

In a statement, the government highlights the role of community pharmacies in the “success” of the campaign and says that this figure – 7.3 million – corresponds to more than 3.5 million users, more than a third of the country’s population.

As part of the 2023/2024 seasonal vaccination, which is still underway, 2,492,171 people were vaccinated against the flu, and 1,988,679 against covid-19.

“The involvement of community pharmacies has helped to optimize vaccination opportunities, prioritizing convenience and proximity for users,” reads the government’s note, which, in the context of the PNV, highlights that “Portugal maintains one of the highest vaccination coverage rates in Europe, thus guaranteeing the population’s protection against re-emerging diseases such as measles,” for example.

On Friday, a decree was published in the Official Gazette which aims to “consolidate the governance and operating model of the PNV, and other national vaccination strategies and campaigns, (…) adapting the planning and operationalization of vaccination initiatives to the new organization of the National Health Service (SNS)”.

At issue is the recent creation of Local Health Units (ULS) across the country and the abolition of the Regional Health Administrations (ARS).

The ordinance deals with the vaccine circuit and defines responsibilities from the authorization of new vaccines to their administration to users, including procurement, logistics services, distribution, storage and monitoring and evaluation.

The Directorate-General for Health (DGS) is responsible for national coordination, including planning, issuing opinions, liaising with other entities and evaluation.

The regional public health services will be responsible for regional coordination, while local coordination will be the responsibility of the ULS.

The Executive Directorate of the SNS ensures the network operation of the ULS, and the Shared Services of the Ministry of Health ensure centralized procurement, the central vaccine registry and the coordination of communication campaigns.

The Hospital Common Use Service (SUCH) is responsible for the centralized provision of logistical services for receiving, storing, dispatching and distributing vaccines and, when necessary, the items required for their administration, while the National Authority for Medicines and Health Products (INFARMED) guarantees the implementation of medicines policy.

The National Health Institute Doutor Ricardo Jorge (INSA) is responsible for ensuring the laboratory aspect of epidemiological surveillance and the control of diseases targeted by national vaccination programs and campaigns, as well as carrying out national serological surveys and coordinating genomic surveillance.

Finally, the Central Administration of the Health System (ACSS) monitors the financial resources allocated in the State Budget to support the centralized purchase of vaccines and the financing of centralized logistics and distribution services.

Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert is a 55-year-old writer and journalist based in Porto, Portugal. Born in France, he brings a unique blend of French and Portuguese perspectives to his work. Education Hervé studied Journalism and Literature at the University of Lyon in France. After completing his studies, he gained valuable experience working with various French media outlets (Portugal France also). Career He worked for several years as a journalist in France before making the move to Portugal. In Porto, he joined the Portugal Pulse team as a staff writer. Skills Hervé specializes in storytelling, investigative journalism, and cultural commentary. He has a flair for capturing complex issues in a relatable way. Personal Life He currently resides in Porto and enjoys the city's rich culture, from Fado music to Francesinha cuisine. Hervé continues to maintain strong ties to his French heritage, often traveling back to France for family visits and cultural exploration. With his unique background and diverse skill set, Hervé Hubert adds a layered, multicultural lens to every story he covers.

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