Vaccination Program in Portugal: Get to Know How it Works


When it comes to vaccination, Portugal commits to providing comprehensive and free immunization for their population throughout their lives. 

And, especially if you have kids, this article is for you to explore the key aspects of this program, since many of these vaccines are required when your child starts school.

The National Vaccination Program in Portugal  

Portugal’s National Vaccination Program (PNV) is a universal, free, and easily accessible service for all country residents. 

It was established in 1965 and has seen many updates since then.

The vaccines in the program are considered to be first-line, demonstrating both effectiveness and safety.

Premature Babies Adhere to the Same Schedule  

According to national guidelines, vaccinations for premature babies should not be delayed. 

Where to Get Vaccinated in Portugal  

Ideally, vaccines are administered at health centers closest to one’s residence. However, individuals who find themselves outside their residential area, in a different municipality or district, for instance, can seek out health centers in the region to receive their vaccines.

In certain cases, the Portuguese government may expand vaccination locations beyond health centers, recommending pharmacies as an alternative. This year, the flu vaccination campaign (which runs alongside COVID-19 vaccination) commenced in the second half of September and included health centers and pharmacies.

For those arriving from other countries, it’s advisable to first visit a health center in your new area of residence, presenting your vaccination card from your home country. The local vaccination service will review your existing vaccinations and ensure that your schedule aligns with the one followed in Portugal.

Vaccines for All  

It’s worth noting that vaccination in Portugal is free, even for residents who haven’t yet registered with the National Health Service. Individuals arriving from other countries will be vaccinated according to their vaccination records, age, risk factors, and special circumstances, with schedules adjusted as Portuguese recommendations.

It’s crucial to maintain an up-to-date vaccination card, especially for those coming from other countries. Not having a record of a specific vaccine categorizes an individual as unvaccinated, underscoring the importance of keeping your vaccination card current.

To access free vaccines, individuals should visit a health center with their vaccination card in hand. If the card is misplaced, it can be retrieved at the health center where the vaccines were initially administered, ensuring that no one is denied access to essential vaccines due to a lost document.

Are you ready to update your vaccination card?