The Minister of Health, Manuel Villegas, asked this Wednesday sorry to those who “may have been offended or dependent” for their decision to be vaccinated against Covid last week, but warned that it will not dim, understanding that both his immunization and that of the rest of the senior officials of his department and of the Murcian Health Service conforms to the protocol of the Ministry of Health.
As LA TRUTH advanced on Tuesday, Villegas was vaccinated last week along with hundreds of non-assistance officials who work in the office buildings of the Ministry and the SMS, although the Ministry’s protocol limits vaccination during this first phase to personnel “who work in health centers” and that it “specifically carries out activities that require close contact with people who may be infected by SARS-CoV-2, that is, depending on the risk of exposure and transmission.”
After the enormous controversy generated, with the spokesperson for the regional government and Citizen leader, Ana Martínez Vidal, requesting his resignation, Villegas appeared early in the Regional Assembly, shortly before starting a parliamentary control session. The counselor was accompanied by the SMS managing director, Asensio Lopez, who has also been vaccinated along with the rest of his team.
Villegas explained that 618 employees of the SMS central services have requested the vaccine, of which 466 have already received the first dose. For the counselor, this is in line with “the national protocol”, since they are workers in the health system and the objective is to “Avoid outbreaks in the centers, where work is being done to control the pandemic”. Villegas defended that at this time all services are essential. His own vaccination is also justified in the protocol, he assured, because He is a doctor and therefore belongs “to group 3”, that of “other workers in health and social health centers”.
“We are focused on the pandemic at its most critical moment. The next three weeks will be the hardest, so we have to seek unity and not distort and flee, “said Villegas when asked. for his resignation and that of the rest of senior officials and vaccinated Health officials. In addition, he affirmed that he has not heard the statements of Ana Martínez Vidal because he does not use social networks.
“One of the objectives is to vaccinate all the personnel of the health system, all without leaving anyone out; They are essential, not about anyone and everyone has contributed their best in the most difficult moments, there has been no will to hide anything»He insisted. “I am aware that there may be people who have been offended or disappointed, and I want to apologize from the heart to those who interpret what has been done differently,” he stressed.
The counselor denied that the vaccinations of senior officials and non-healthcare officials occurred before the administration of doses to front-line professionals. The truth is that at the SMS headquarters, in Habitamia, he was vaccinated on the 13th, when the campaign had not yet ended, either in the hospitals or in the health centers.
In addition, the vaccination in Habitamia caused discomfort among some professionals from 061, who denounced that an ambulance from the Primary Care Emergency Service (SUAP) of Santiago and Zaraiche was mobilized to administer the doses and control possible adverse effects. “In the middle of the third wave and knowing that the day before the Emergency Coordination Center reported long delays in assistance for the SUAPs and queue notices for the EMUs, requesting assistance reinforcements,” lamented a doctor from 061 on the social network ‘Twitter’ . This deepened the delays, he denounced.
Sources from the Murcian Health Service respond that the decision to locate the ambulance in Habitamia during the days of the vaccination campaign was due to the need to have a medical team, and they argue that this has not prevented the vehicle from continuing to cover emergencies when have produced.
The next step in vaccination should be the large dependents cared for in day centers. Villegas admitted that the operation and logistics to carry it out are still unclear, despite the fact that the Ministry’s protocol has been approved since early December. Given the difficulties in vaccinating this group, some 9,400 people, the Ministry raises the possibility of begin to inject the first doses to the population over 80 years of age.
What the protocol says
In the latest update of the Ministry’s protocol, published on December 18, it is established that all “health personnel who work with the patient” will be vaccinated as a priority in the Covid plants, the ICUs, the Emergency services, health centers, 061 and services with high-risk patients, such as Oncology. Also the sanitarians of the vaccination teams and “the public health personnel who work in the direct management of the pandemic, depending on the risk of exposure.” In a second group, within this first phase of vaccination, “other health and social health personnel” are framed.
The protocol makes it clear that these are people who “work in health and social health centers and establishments”, and expressly warns that “in this first stage, vaccination will focus only on personnel who specifically carry out activities that require close contact with people who may be infected by SARS-CoV-2, that is, depending on the risk of exposure and transmission ”. The rest of the workers must wait for the vaccination, in later stages, of “essential front-line personnel” or “other essential personnel”, who could include police or firefighters.