Nearly 80% of Portuguese aged 65 and over have been vaccinated against the flu

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Nearly 80% of Portuguese people aged 65 and over were vaccinated against the flu during the 2023/24 flu season, above the 75% target proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO), according to data released today.

“We are pleased to note that vaccination coverage among the population aged 65 and over and among the chronically ill has exceeded the target set by the WHO, in line with what had already happened in previous years,” said the president of the Portuguese Association of General and Family Medicine, quoted in a statement.

According to Nuno Jacinto, the results obtained continue to show the Portuguese people’s confidence in vaccination.

The fourth and final wave of the Vacinómetro report, which monitors flu vaccination during the 2023/24 flu season, shows that although 77.7% of Portuguese aged 65 or over have been vaccinated, the coverage rate drops to 64.3% in the population aged 60 or over.

“With the sub-analysis carried out, 47.5% were vaccinated on the recommendation of their doctor and 30.7% on their own initiative, because they are always looking to be protected,” he noted.

The data also shows that coverage rates are over 76% among the chronically ill, with 82.4% of diabetes patients vaccinated and 76% of people with cardiovascular disease vaccinated.

“The vaccination figures for certain groups, namely the chronically ill, where the vaccination rate reached 76.6%, are very positive,” stressed the president of the Portuguese Society of Pneumology, António Morais, quoted in the statement.

According to Morais, this is recognition of the importance of vaccination.

“The fact that less than half of people aged between 60 and 64 are vaccinated tells us that this group really needs to be made aware of the importance of vaccination,” he added.

Among health professionals, the total number of vaccinated people is less than half, with a coverage rate of 45.9% among those who have direct contact with patients.

Regionally, of the “vaccinated population aged 65 and over, 82.1% are from the North, 80.1% from the Lisbon metropolitan area, 77.6% from the Algarve, 76.3% from the Alentejo, 70.6% from the central region, 69.6% from the autonomous region of the Azores and 66.7% from the autonomous region of Madeira”.

The report shows that 41.1% of those vaccinated did so on the recommendation of a doctor, 26% on their own initiative, 18% at work, 7.6% because they were part of risk groups and 6% because they had been notified of an appointment by the National Health Service.

According to the information released today, 15.5% of pregnant women, 5.8% of people aged 65 or over and 5.7% of chronically ill people intend to get vaccinated this flu season.

Regarding the co-administration of the flu and covid-19 vaccines, 81.4% of vaccinated people belonging to the groups with a recommendation opted for co-administration.

Of those who opted for co-administration, 87.3% did so because they felt safer, 7.4% because they were part of the risk groups and 4.9% because of a doctor’s recommendation.

The Vaccinometer is an initiative of the Portuguese Society of Pneumology (SPP) and the Portuguese Association of General Practice (APMGF), which since 2009 has been dedicated to monitoring the flu vaccination rate in priority groups in real time.

Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi

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