Pharmacies to be vaccinated against covid-19 only “as a last resort”. Pharmacists can help prepare vaccines | Interview

Pharmacies to be vaccinated against covid-19 only “as a last resort”. Pharmacists can help prepare vaccines | Interview
Pharmacies to be vaccinated against covid-19 only “as a last resort”. Pharmacists can help prepare vaccines | Interview
Despite admitting the participation of pharmacies in vaccination against covid-19, the coordinator of the task force (working group) responsible for the operation, Vice Admiral Henrique Gouveia e Melo, stresses that this will only happen “as a last resort” and suggests that pharmacists can collaborate in mass vaccination centers, preparing vaccines and freeing nurses from this task . It has already been said that pharmacists can be partners in this plan. But how? With vaccinations in pharmacies?
Ultimately, if we need to, we will have to find a way to be able to vaccinate in pharmacies. It will be in the last case, if we are unable to answer, because the pharmacies are distributed throughout the national territory and injections are already administered there. It is easier than being inventing a new answer.

Many people are questioning this hypothesis, because the DGS guidelines require the presence of a doctor for an eventual emergency.
DGS guidelines are always evolving. The DGS is going to normalize this, I already asked to start doing this work. [Além disso], pharmacists can be useful, for example, in the preparation of vaccines, instead of using nurses in that preparation.


Are you considering using volunteers?
Volunteers to help and guide people, yes, eventually firefighters, city officials. But it is necessary to consider that it is seven days a week for four to five months and this is not with little volunteering [que se faz], it is with serious professionalism.

Has it been easy to organize with city councils for vaccination centers?
There is goodwill in the municipalities. Sometimes there are ideas more to the right, more to the left, not in a political sense … Of course, we normalize them so that wild ideas do not appear, but there is also some flexibility for the mayors to adapt according to the facilities they have and the characteristics of the population.

Considers the hypothesis of vaccination in a model drive thru (without getting out of the car)?
The only problem with drive thru is that the DGS standard requires people to have a period of vigilance. But, if they demonstrate that they can set up this surveillance scheme, I have no doctrinal constraint [em relação a isso].

Do you think there has been too much voluntarism by the municipalities?
Volunteering is positive for the process. If you are hiring professionals, I just have to thank you for that effort. All voluntarism is positive as long as it is minimally qualified. If not, it creates an organization problem in such a weird way that it paralyzes the system.

There have been gatherings of people waiting to be vaccinated. Because?
Often there are computer errors, other times they are data transcription errors, other times they are the mistakes of people, who are anxious. In this elderly population, if they say to show up at 11 am, at 9 am they are there … But, in a process of this size, the percentage of errors has been very small.

Are there many refusals?
It is not possible to identify exactly that number. It is not often understood whether it was because he did not receive an SMS, or because he was unable to interpret the SMS, or if he did not want to go. The percentage of people who say it is not very small, between 1 and 2%. In reality, fewer people appear later. For example, [com os professores e funcionários das escolas] we started with 96 thousand and reduced it to 71 thousand, either because some did not have correct data, or because they had already been infected or because they were pregnant.

Regarding those infected, will they be vaccinated or not, as the Ordem dos Médicos complains?
This is a decision by the DGS. I assume you are dependent on two things. What is the time when the person has protection, is immunized? There are those who say it is eight or nine months, there are those who say it is four months, there is no very clear study. On the other hand, while vaccines are lacking, it would make little sense to be giving one to people who already have some protection. When they arrive in sufficient numbers, I believe that this restriction will end and they will receive at least one dose.

Can this happen in the second phase with health professionals?
Yes. With the arrival of 9 million doses [no segundo trimestre], there is no need to leave this group for last.

Last summer and autumn, he coordinated an Armed Forces team that helped reorganize Lisbon’s hospitals.
It was a group essentially concerned with mathematics, statistics and planning. We made predictions and also created a culture of unity among hospitals, because each worked in its own way. We have to remember one thing: we didn’t collapse, there were countries that collapsed, there were abandoned elderly people.

It has been said that this is a war. Aren’t you dramatizing?
In the war in Africa, fewer people died in three theaters for 13 years than they died in this pandemic. This is a war, they are not tanks, tanks, ships, they are not people shooting at us, it is a virus shooting at us. But a fight is not shooting, it is a mentality, and in a fight there are losses. The victory is being able to organize to save as many people as possible.

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