Ministerial Order 264/2023 of 17 August was published to establish the operating model for the Autumn-Winter 2023-2024 Seasonal Vaccination Campaign against influenza and Covid-19 in community pharmacies.
Pharmacies, which are key partners in influenza vaccination campaigns, will now be able to administer Covid-19 vaccines.
This measure will make it possible to speed up vaccination coverage by combining the experience of Covid-19 vaccination in vaccination centres with the excellent capacity of community pharmacies.
Pharmacies wishing to participate in the vaccination campaign must meet the following conditions:
- Have a service for the administration of vaccines in accordance with INFARMED Resolutions 139/CD/2010 of 21 October and 145/CD/2010 of 4 November;
- Have staff with specific training in vaccine administration;
- Be willing to participate in the campaign.
Vaccination must comply, with the necessary adaptations, with the governance model of the National Vaccination Programme established by Ministerial Order 248/2017 of 4 August. It must also be based on the principles of free of charge to the user, accessibility, fairness, comprehensive coverage, targeting all people in Portugal who have an indication for vaccination and taking advantage of all vaccination opportunities.
The eligibility criteria for users covered by this vaccination campaign will be clarified in a regulation to be published shortly by the Directorate General of Health.
The link between the Department of Health's information systems and community pharmacies will be provided by the Department of Health's Shared Services, in liaison with the NHS Executive Directorate and Directorate General of Health. The purpose of this is to ensure that the eligibility criteria are met and to ensure access to vaccination history.
The system of advance scheduling of the administration of vaccines is the responsibility of the representative associations in the case of community pharmacies and the Department of Health Shared Services in the case of NHS health centres.
Finally, pharmacies participating in the Covid-19 vaccination programme will be able to extend their opening hours.
The list of participating pharmacies will be available on the NHS, Directorate General of Health and Infarmed websites.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.