More than 24,000 doctors and health workers who in Jalisco make up the first line of battle against COVID-19 are waiting for the second dose of the vaccine that began to be supplied on January 13.
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This week marks 21 days for the second inoculation of the Pfizer drug, but so far no authority has confirmed the date of application.
“For the first dose they made us register on a list, but they did not tell us when they were going to vaccinate us, from one day to the next they told us it was our turn. After that they didn’t say anything to us again,” said María, a doctor in the COVID-19 area of the Valentín Gómez Farías Hospital.
“I feel very sad because a single dose only protects us 55%, it is a shot in the wind of whether or not we get COVID-19,” she added.
Saúl, a doctor in the COVID-19 area of the Hospital General Regional 45 of the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS), stressed that the issue is treated with secrecy within the health center.
“It causes us uncertainty because with that we feel as if the second dose is not coming soon and that worries us.”
According to the federal government, the doses that were delayed for three weeks should reach Mexico on February 15.
The State Secretary of Health, Fernando Petersen, stressed that the deadline for the next immunization can wait up to 42 days without modifying the vaccination schedule.
Since last March, when the pandemic began to impact Jalisco, and since clinic 46 of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) became a COVID-19 hospital, Ernesto, a paramedic from that medical center, has reported the death of six of his companions. Five of them were nurses and one was a doctor.
For that reason, he said, it is necessary that the Pfizer vaccine be applied to them according to the scheme established by the pharmaceutical company, and that it be received and distributed efficiently by the federal and state governments, in order to avoid contagion not only among the population, but among medical personnel who directly care for coronavirus patients.
“The vaccine is in great need because Health personnel are falling. In addition, the PPE is sometimes not available or of low quality. Sometimes we have to buy our own equipment to work safer, but with the second dose of the vaccine we could be a little better at work,” he said.
Álex is a nurse at the IMSS Clinic 110, which has also been converted to care for patients with coronavirus. She regretted that there is no information on when the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine could arrive, whose pending dose should have begun to be applied since yesterday, according to the guidelines of the pharmaceutical company and the strategy established at the federal level.
“They haven’t told us anything about the second dose. We already asked supervisors and they told us that we are not going to run out of the vaccine, but that they do not know when they will arrive. This gives us uncertainty because we do not know if the second dose will arrive on time and if it will have the same effect. With the first dose, my colleagues and I felt excited because we saw it as another step in the face of the heavy workloads we have, to know that we were going to be a little more protected,” she said.