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COVID-19 Vaccination in Portugal - Updated 30th Oct. 2021

Written on Sunday 30 May 2021

Vaccination Programme in Portugal

Updated 8th Nov. 2021.

Portugal has administered over 17.6 million doses in mainland Portugal with approx. 86% of the population having received both doses. 

According to the latest figures released by Centro de Saude on 9th Oct, 9,011,536 million people in Portugal have been inoculated with the first dose of which 8,862, 628 have also received the second dose.

99% of people between the ages of 65 years of age and above have now been vaccinated.  Good progress continues to be made in the other age groups and people are now being encouraged to attend the local vaccinations centres in order to speed up the campaign.

The COVID-19 'Open House' (Casa Aberta) facility, without the need for appointment is now open and working without restrictions on age groups, nor the user's place of residence (you can go to a vaccination centre out of your area of residence). This allows users to access the portal and obtain a ticket for the day they want to be vaccinated. It's mandatory to choose a vaccination centre in the municipality of residence. The 'Casa Aberta' allows for the vaccination of first doses for anyone aged 18+ who has not yet received a vaccine and who has not been infected by Covid in the past 6 months.

The ‘Casa Aberta’ is also open for vaccination against COVID-19 or against the Flu for anyone aged 80+. Anyone who has not had COVID-19 and who has completed their vaccination schedule at least 180 days ago are eligible for the booster dose.

Vaccination Programme/Phases: 

In the Algarve, anyone can go to the vaccination centres WITHOUT an appointment for vaccination.

Locations within the Central Algarve:

Loule – Pavilhao Desportivo Municipal de Loule. Av. Laginha Serafirm. 15:00 – 18:00

Faro - Pavilhao Desportivo Municipal da Penha, Faro. 15:00 – 18:00

Olhao -  Pavilhao Clube Desportivo os Olhanenses, Zona Industrial Olhao, 2 Fase, Lote . 15:00 – 18:00 

News is expected regarding the closure of some vaccination centre starting w/c 27th September but specific details have not yet been issued.

Resident in Portugal - with Nº Utente/SNS - user of STATE healthcare system: 

As the State healthcare system (SNS) has your medical files and contact details, you will be contacted automatically  according to the vaccination programme. You will be sent an SMS (from the number 2424) with a suggested  appointment for the vaccine. You will need to reply SIM (if you can make it to the appointment) or NÃO (if you wish  re-scheduling). If you reply NÃO, they will send you another SMS with a new appointment. The messages will be in  Portuguese. If you do not reply at all or they do not have your mobile number, then they will call you. If they have  no telephone contact for you, they will send you a letter by post. 

The second dose of the vaccine will be scheduled at the time of taking the first dose. 

If you have registered for the vaccine and have NOT yet been contacted, call Saude 24 on 808 24 24 24 (press 9 for English) and ask for assistance to book an appointment.

If you receive your COVID-19 vaccination in Portugal and have a (non-temporary) healthcare user's number you can get an EU DIGITAL COVID Certificate from the health authorities. It will help facilitate access to activities and services in Portugal, travel within the EU and to the UK. For further information visit European Commission's EU DIGITAL CERTIFICATE PAGE.


Follow the same steps to request a new certificate, the new certificate will have exactly the same validity period of 180 days.

Resident in Portugal - with Nº de Utente/SNS - user of the PRIVATE healthcare system: 

The first thing for private healthcare patients to note, is that if they are registered with the SNS and have no health  issues which will cause them to be in a higher risk category, they need to do nothing and will be called by the SNS  automatically according to their age. 

For those people who are registered with the State healthcare system (SNS), but who use the private medical  system for treatments and who may have ailments that should be taken into account when contacting people for  vaccinations, we have the following information from the Portuguese State health authorities: 

If you do have any of the conditions mentioned in the vaccination programme, you should contact your doctor in  the private sector and arrange a consultation. The doctor will then issue you with a Medical Report, in Portuguese,  for you to take to the nearest Centro de Saúde for input into the SNS system. The doctor will issue this report  through the PEM (Prescrição Eletrónica Médica) and it will have a barcode which will make this insert into SNS  system very simple and quick. There is no need to ask for a doctor’s appointment at the Centro de Saúde as far as  we are informed. (Whilst there is advice on social media that doctors in the private healthcare system will update  the records on the national database, it is our understanding that no such link exists and that the patient  themselves is responsible for taking the report issued by their doctor to the Centro de Saúde. We are monitoring  this evolving situation and will update this Fact Sheet as we receive clearer information.) 

If your Centro de Saúde is not accepting visitors and you wish to send an email to them, then you should consult  this website In the three boxes at the top, you will see  ARS, ACES and UF. These are drop down boxes and you select the region in the first (ARS) box, for example ARS  Algarve, then in the second (ACES) box select the area, for example ACES 1 – Algarve Central and then the town in  the 3rd (UF) box. This will then give you a list on the right-hand side of the page of the Centro de Saúde that you can  use and the contact details. 

Whether you go in person or email, make sure you have/quote your personal identification, fiscal number as well as  your Nº de Utente/SNS. 

Resident in Portugal -without Nº de Utente/SNS-user of the PRIVATE healthcare system: 

If you are Resident but have not yet registered with the SNS for a Nº Utente/SNS (also called Cartão de Utente), you  must do so in order to be included in the vaccination programme. You need to contact your local Centro de Saúde and apply by e-mail or arrange an appointment, after which you will be issued a document called Cartão de Utente,  that will have your State healthcare number, also known as Nº Utente or Nº SNS. For this application you will need  your passport, Residency certificate/card and fiscal number. 

People receiving a State Pension from an EU country or the UK must also have a social security number (Segurança  Social) which is obtained by requesting an S1 form from the country that pays your State pension, this procedure is  explained in our information Bulletin “P11-Medical Card”. As this is a procedure that can take some time, you  should mention to the Centro de Saúde that you are working on getting the Segurança Social number and will  inform them once this has been completed and you have the number. Meanwhile they should issue you with the Nº  Utente/SNS in order for you to enter into the vaccination programme. 

Once you have the Nº Utente/SNS, you can follow the procedure above to get your medical records registered into  the SNS system if needed. If not, then you will be contacted by the Centro de Saude automatically according to age.

Non-Resident in Portugal: 

If you are in Portugal at present and not able to travel to your country of residence (where you would normally be  called for the vaccination), then you are entitled to be vaccinated in Portugal for free. 

The Portugese Government has committed to vaccinate all those 'present' in the country and they have put out a form for individuals who want to receive the vaccine but have no UTENTE number. You can still register via this site

If anyone experiences any problems or has been turned away from a vaccination centre (not a health centre) then please contact Brits in Portugal on FaceBook. They are in contact with the Vaccination Task Force and will report back to them any difficulties being reported.

Parting Note

Meanwhile the SNS continue their advertising campaign to encourage good behaviours, with simple reminders over mask wearing, hand washing and social distancing. Remember where possible: Stay at home if you can and don’t let your guard down and let the virus in.

Wearing of masks in public spaces: The Portugese Government has renewed the mandatory use of masks in public spaces for another 30 days, extending the requirement until November.

More information is available here:

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