Covid-19 Vaccinations Updates

First Vaccine in Portugal

The national vaccination plan against Covid-19 started on 27th December 2020 at the Hospital de São João, in Porto, with Doctor António Sarmento receiving the first dose by the nurse Isabel Ribeiro. It was administered at 10:07 am to António Sarmento under the eye of Minister Marta Temido and in front of dozens media and to the sound of applause.

Nurse Ana Isabel Ribeiro says that vaccination provides more security to professionals to face the difficult times that may still come. The nurse describes vaccination as a moment of hope.

“It is an honour to be here. It has been a very hard month, we have seen patients very poorly, patients we have not been able to save and others who have remade their lives with restrictions,” she said.

The live update on the number of people vaccinated in Portugal can be downloaded here from the SNS website 

Weekly DGS Vaccination reports published late Tuesdays with statistics can be downloaded here


Latest updates 7th August 2021 (see below)

DGS assisted by the National Vaccination Covid-19 Task Force is responsible for the Vaccination Program which is mainly  implemented through Vaccination centres throughout the Country. The DGS website accessed through a page here provides information and ways in which those eligible can obtain a vaccine, including:

  • Scheduling a vaccination
  • Those without a utente number
  • FAQs
  • Obtaining Vaccination Certificates 
  • List of Vaccination Centres
  • Complaints and suggestions

Our page here supplements this in the English language to assist those concerned


Attending Vaccination Centres 

If you are attending a vaccination centre the Government is now operating a virtual traffic light system, where the waiting times are shown on the DGS website. This is a an indicator only and this can change whilst you are waiting at the centre itself. Visit the page here to check the situation for your centre.


Astra Zeneca – Second dose) Update 5th July 2021

The Government has already accelerated the process of anticipating taking the second dose of the vaccine from AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria).

Therefore, users who have been vaccinated with the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine should take the second dose as follows:

  • Users who have taken the 1st dose of AstraZeneca vaccine by April 25th should take the 2nd dose in the week of June 28th to July 4th.
  • Users who took the 1st dose of AstraZeneca vaccine from April 26th to May 16th should take the 2nd dose in the week of July 5th to 11th.
  • Users who took the 1st dose of AstraZeneca vaccine after May 17th to 23rd should take the 2nd dose from July 12th.


Patients must report to the Covid-19 Vaccination Center (CVC) where they took the first dose. Check your CVC’s opening hours at:


Casa Aberta (Open House) scheme (Updated  3rd August 2021)

The “Open House” initiative allows users aged 30 years or over to be vaccinated, with the first dose and without prior scheduling, and for this purpose, they must go to the Vaccination Center of the place where they are registered at the Health Centre, usually corresponding to your area/zone of residence.

There is now a new ticket scheme in operation. To take advantage of the “Open House” digital password system, it is necessary to obtain a password on the day you want to be vaccinated.  The link is here

The location of all the Vaccination Centres in the Mainland who run the Casa Aberta (Open House) scheme can be down loaded here. 


Self Scheduling (Updated 7th August 2021) 

Self scheduling for those 18 years of age is now available again having been suspended a week ago to enable 16 and 17 year olds to be vaccinated.

The DGS site is now providing this facility for those aged 18 and above in addition to previous older age groups commencing with those 65 and over on 23rd April 2021

To schedule your test click on the link here and then enter you SNS utente number (9 digits) full name and date of birth.

– On next page enter your nationality, Fiscal number (9 digit) District, Municipality centre and chose vaccination centre (there may only be one available).

Next page – Select vaccination date and you will receive the date of the earliest date available – if not suitable you can select later dates.

You than click on generate a receipt of appointment in PDF format.

The PDF you receive states:

“We confirm that you have made an APPOINTMENT REQUEST for the date xxxx/2021 at the vaccination site Vaccination Center xxxx

This document is JUST A PROOF OF ORDER, it is not the definitive schedule.

Follow the directions:

Later you will be contacted by SMS at 2424 with the schedule.

Respond to the SMS by following the instructions.

As the picture on the right shows  you have an option SIM/NAO (YES/NO)

You then reply as shown in the example:  SNS.Utente number.SIM so for example SNS.111111111.SIM  if you wish to confirm yes or NAO

DO NOT enter any other words such as “I would like to confirm etc” otherwise it will show an error. Ensure to check capitals and correct number when entering.

After doing this and sending you should receive immediately confirmation with the exact location and address of the vaccination appointment– process completed.

Ensure you turn up on time. You may have to wait a while so be prepared for this.

This is a very simple process.

If you answer “YES”, your appointment is confirmed. If you do not answer the SMS, if you reply after the deadline or if your answer is “NO” to the schedule, your request is void. For make a new appointment, you must wait up to 72h and perform, again, the same ordering process scheduling.

The DAY BEFORE the vaccination day, you will receive a new SMS to remember the call

On the scheduled day, go to the chosen vaccination site, at the indicated time.

If you have already been vaccinated, contracted the infection by COVID-19 or already have a previous appointment, your appointment request will not will be considered at this stage of vaccination. Wait for new indications”.

Action to take if you have made an application for a vaccination but have not received confirmation by SMS with date and time.

This is the situation concerning a number of people.

Action you should take is as follows

  1. Call the SNS number 808 24 24 24
  2. Dial 9 for English Listen for option 5 (or enter 5 immediately) If you speak Portuguese do not use option 9 await option 5
  3. You are given some information including “if you have not received an SMS dial 3”, then “for vaccination issues” dial 1


Have with you your Utente number. You’ll be asked how many times you have already click on the option previously that you have not received the text message. You’ll be asked your full name (so be prepared to spell it exactly as it is on the Utente Number official document) and date of birth and phone number.

If your date has passed they will check for future dates.

If your date was not yet passed they will try to “rebook” it for that same date.

So in reality it’s making another booking and summiting for you and you should receive a text message within the next 72h.

IF NO TEXT message after 72h, then send an email detailing all that you have done since the moment that you have submitted and received the pdf with the confirmation of that submission to

Attach the pdf with the confirmation

If this fails then for those 45 years and over attend the Casa Aberta (Open House) Vaccination Centre in your area with your paperwork. Check the timing of the schedules through the DGS link here. 

Overview of vaccination phases

The entire Portuguese population can be vaccinated, as long as it is eligible according to the clinical indications approved for each vaccine in the European Union. However, priority groups were defined, as they are more vulnerable to COVID-19:

According to the vaccination plan, which may change due to the evolution of scientific knowledge and the indications and contraindications that may be approved by the European Medicines Agency, the vaccination strategy will be as follows:

Phase 1
From December 2020:

  • Health professionals involved in patient care
  • Professionals in the armed forces, security forces and critical services
  • Professionals and residents in Residential Structures for the Elderly (ERPI) and similar institutions
  • Professionals and users of the National Integrated Continuing Care Network (RNCCI).

From February 2021 :

  • People aged ≥50 years, with at least one of the following pathologies:
  • Cardiac insufficiency
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Renal insufficiency (Glomerular Filtration Rate <60ml / min)
  • (COPD) or chronic respiratory disease under ventilatory support and / or long-term oxygen therapy

Phase 1 Notes

For Phase one check with the SNS Website here concerning registration with SNS. If registered but are using a private doctor it is important that your medical records are up to date. The process to do this is here.

Wait until you are contacted by the health authorities.

People over 50 and associated diseases (coronary heart disease, heart failure, kidney failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and all those over 80 will start to be vaccinated from February.
People between 50 and 79 years old with associated illnesses that are not followed by the National Health Service should contact their attending physician to ensure inclusion in the first phase of the vaccination plan. They will then be contacted by the health center to schedule the vaccination.

Phase 2 (from April 2021):

People aged ≥ 16 years, with pathologies at increased risk according to table 3 of Standard 002/2021 .

People between 79 and 16 years old, by decreasing age groups.

Persons aged ≥65 years (who have not been previously vaccinated)

Priority Diseases for Vaccination Covid-19

For Phases 1 and 2 you should check and update your contact details with SNS now through the DGS link here.

Vaccination Portal

A new page dedicated to vaccination against COVID-19 has been available since December 26, with information about the Vaccination Plan, the different phases or a simulator for each citizen to have a forecast of the date on which they will be vaccinated.

This portal was launched by the Government in close coordination with the task force, the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) and the Shared Services of the Ministry of Health (SPMS), and is online at the microsite COVID-19 and on the Estamos On portal, which can be found on the DGS site here and on the Government Estamos On site here .

This portal had already been previously announced by the coordinator of the task force responsible for preparing the Vaccination Plan against Covid-19, Francisco Ramos, and will be permanently updated, responding to the evolution of the vaccination process, which starts tomorrow (27 from December).

The published information will have a simple and clear language, answering the main questions that have been raised since the announcement of the arrival of the vaccine in our country – for example: “is the vaccine effective?”; “Is the vaccine safe?”; “What are the different types of vaccine that will be administered in Portugal”; “Which are the priority groups?”, Among others.

In addition to answering more general questions, there is also an area on this new page – FAQ’s – where you can find clarifications on more specific aspects such as the side effects of vaccines or what to do after being vaccinated.

Throughout 2021, the page will have periodic updates regarding the execution of the vaccination campaign, as well as other relevant news and information provided by the task force.

Does the Vaccine have any Side effects?


Like any other medicine, the vaccine against COVID-19 can also have adverse reactions. Most of them are mild and short-term and not everyone identifies them.

All vaccines, by stimulating our defences, can cause mild and short-lived side effects. Some individuals vaccinated against COVID-19 in clinical trials reported making sense:

  • injection site pain;
  • fatigue;
  • headache;
  • muscle aches;
  • joint pain;
  • fever.

Other effects such as redness at the injection site and nausea occurred in less than 1 in 10 cases.

These effects generally disappear after 24 to 48 hours. Although a fever sensation is not uncommon for 2-3 days, a high temperature is rare and may indicate that you have COVID-19 or another infection.

Symptoms after vaccination usually last less than a week. If symptoms persist or if there is another reaction that worries you, contact your attending physician or the SNS24 Line (808 24 24 24).

If you seek advice from a doctor, nurse or pharmacist, inform them of your vaccination so that they can assess you properly.

You can also report any adverse effects of the vaccine via the INFARMED, IP Adverse Reaction Notification Portal (RAM).


What to do after the first dose?

After you have received the first dose, you should schedule the second, according to the recommendation of the doctor or nurse, which will happen soon after receiving the first dose.

To have protection it is important to have both doses of vaccine.


What to do if I do not feel well on the second dose date?

If you have a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, changes in taste or smell, you should not be vaccinated and you should contact the NHS 24 (808 24 24 24). It should also not be vaccinated while in prophylactic isolation. You should not be vaccinated if you are in isolation, waiting for a COVID-19 test, or if you are not sure if you are well.