That's interesting Canoeman. I had heard the same story about there being none available so hadn't even bothered to check at my local health centre in Coimbra. I must get in down there and see what the situation is here.
I'm registered for booking appointments online although can't actually use service at my Centre de Saude but I got an email "reminder" a couple of weeks back and we went down and had jabs, not that we've ever got flu here
Unfortunately the news is not good. There are no more flu vaccines left. There was a much smaller number ordered this year, as last year they had to destroy a lot of stock. Last year too much was ordered.
I know from experience. This week I have called every pharmacy in around a 20km radius. No-one has any left. It is the same story. They all sold out within the first couple of weeks in October. I even telephone Abbott Laboratories, here in Portugal, the manufacturer, and they told me they had shipped out all their stock weeks ago and they have no new orders to fulfill. No more vaccines coming from the manufacturer. I even telephoned Plural, the pharmaceutical distributor. They too have none left and none in reserve.
Everyone is going crazy. Whether one wants to get it privately or on the health system, there is none to be had. Stocks are all gone.
I am very worried as my in-laws are in their 80's and my brother-in-law in severely handicapped.
The best they can do is to take a homeopathic medicine and hope for the best.
If you do hear the contrary, please let me know. This is just my experience.
The only alternative that I found was to take a homeopathic medicine to build up the immune system. The problem is with importing the flu vaccine is that vaccine itself needs to stay refrigerated. Transporting medicine is inherently delicate—vaccines require precise temperature control throughout the transportation journey. Sending the vaccine through the regular post from the UK or elsewhere is not an option.
I know it has been a while since the thread of the flu vaccine, but to let you know that I heard that the Portuguese government have been sourcing the vaccines from other European countries. They are gradually arriving into Portugal. But only to the local health centres. Not at the pharmacies. See if your Health Centre has some.