Pharmacies to administer Covid-19, flu vaccines

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Pharmacies will be able to administer Covid-19 vaccines at the same time as flu vaccines this autumn, according to an order published in the Diário da República on Thursday.

The Autumn-Winter 2023-2024 Seasonal Vaccination Campaign against influenza and Covid-19 in pharmacies comes into force on Friday.

The decree emphasises the importance of maintaining “high levels of adherence” to flu vaccination but also the importance of continuing to vaccinate against Covid-19.

The decree recalls that flu vaccination in pharmacies took place “more quickly”, allowing “population protection to be achieved in a shorter period of time” and that the geographical distribution and opening hours of pharmacies also make the vaccination process “more convenient for the user”.

Teenage girl vaccination COVID-19 vaccine
Teenage girl vaccination COVID-19 vaccine

Taking advantage of the experience gained during the pandemic in vaccination centres, “it is now the intention of the ministry of health to internalise this process within its structures, namely in health centres, and extend it to pharmacies”, says the decree signed by the minister of health.

Pharmacies that have a vaccine administration service, professionals with specific training in vaccine administration and who are willing to take part in the campaign are eligible to take part in the seasonal vaccination campaign, the decree states.

“The Association of Pharmacists will collaborate with the services of the ministry of health in providing up-to-date information on the vaccines that will be approved for the Autumn-Winter 2023-2024 Seasonal Vaccination Campaign,” adds the ordinance.

These pharmacies will be able to practise longer opening hours, and the list of members will be available on the websites of the health service (SNS), the health authority (DGS) and Infarmed.

According to the decree, it will now be up to the DGS to issue the technical guidelines governing the vaccination process, namely defining the vaccination criteria and eligible users.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the end of the pandemic in May this year, but the European Commission continued to ensure access to the vaccine adapted to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus strains.

Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi

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