Vaccination was the second most effective measure in reducing mortality and population growth after drinking water.
Most countries around the world have adopted a National Vaccination Program (PNV), which aims to control serious diseases for which there are effective and safe vaccines.
In 1965 the first PNV appeared in Portugal bringing with it all the health benefits of the population, and particularly of children.
Since then we have been able to eradicate some diseases, such as smallpox, and others are practically non-existent in Portugal.
Benefits of Vaccination
- They can save your child’s life by protecting you against serious illness and its complications.
- Promote group immunity: Most vaccines stop the circulation of microorganisms between people. So when we get vaccinated we are protecting everyone around us.
- They help control diseases and sometimes eliminate them.
- Vaccines are safe: they undergo rigorous studies and continue to be monitored after their commercialization. Like all medicines, they can have side effects, however these effects are temporary and minimal when compared to the advantages of vaccines.
- The PNV vaccines are free for all those who are in Portugal.
National Vaccination Program
The PNV in Portugal was updated in 2017, being recommended to carry out 11 vaccines until the age of 18 years and, throughout the life, the vaccine against tetanus and diphtheria.
During pregnancy, between 20 and 36 weeks of gestation, a supplemental vaccine should also be performed to protect your baby (whooping cough).
Groups at increased risk for certain diseases may benefit from other vaccines, which will be advised by your doctor.
Are there Vaccines other than those included in PNV?
There are other vaccines, which are not free, but are recommended and available in Portugal if you want to give your child extra protection or travel to a different country. Try to see your doctor.
To clarify …
- Do not think it strange that your child does the “same” vaccine several times: usually it takes several doses of the same vaccine to boost the immune response and thus increase the effectiveness.
- Respect the recommended schedule and the dates indicated in the Vaccine Bulletin: do not stop vaccinating your child because you are constipated or taking antibiotics.
Dr. Susana Alexandre