Duque: COVID-19 vaccine shot in buttocks possible
t a press briefing, Duque noted that most COVID-19 vaccines are “intramuscular” or can be administered on the body’s muscles.
AFP/Yaksin Akgul

Duque: COVID-19 vaccine shot in buttocks possible

Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - January 28, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III yesterday assured the public that injecting COVID-19 vaccines in the buttocks, just like what President Duterte reportedly wants for himself, is possible and that it would not affect the vaccine’s effectiveness.

At a press briefing, Duque noted that most COVID-19 vaccines are “intramuscular” or can be administered on the body’s muscles.

“When we say intramascular, the common practice for existing vaccines that we have now is that you inject the vaccines into the muscle. If the person is very thin, you inject it in other parts of the body that is muscular,” he said.

The muscular body part could be the thigh or the buttocks, if inoculation cannot be done on the arms, according to Duque.

The health chief made the statement after presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. announced that Duterte prefers to be vaccinated on his behind, thus, this it would not be open to the public.

Duque said that the President’s decision should be respected.

“Let’s respect that. (His) decision can be likened to the decision of the monarchy of England. The Queen of England did not want to be vaccinated in full view of the public,” Duque added.

The health secretary, however, claimed that Duterte might still change his mind as there are some world leaders who had themselves vaccinated in public view.

“The important question is: will there be an effect if a person is vaccinated on the buttocks? It’s the same, there is no effect at all,” Duque added.

Duque and National Task Force against COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. have expressed willingness to be inoculated if a COVID-19 vaccine is already available in the country.

“We are willing to be vaccinated, but we hope that when this happens, we will not be subjected to criticisms, like we got VIP treatment,” Duque said.

This was echoed by Galvez, who maintained that in doing so, they only want to prove to the public that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.

“If we will be among the first to be inoculated, that is because we only want to show that our vaccines have been evaluated, so they are safe, of quality and effective,” Galvez, who is also vaccine czar, said.

‘Re-infection possible’

Saying that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire yesterday underscored that even survivors should be vaccinated against the disease.

Vergeire said experts have established that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, so even those who have survived the disease should be vaccinated.

“We are advised to receive the vaccine still. If you got infected with COVID-19, three months from the time of (infection), you can be inoculated,” she added.

Even those who have allergies can be vaccinated against COVID-19, provided that they have been assessed, according to the DOH underscretary.

“One of the contraindications to vaccines available now is severe allergies… You can still be vaccinated, but a doctor must certify that you are eligible for vaccination,” she said.

Meanwhile, the government will tap a third party service provider to ensure the efficient distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. – Alexis Romero

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