The vaccination against covid-19 in Colombia started the past February 17th, till date the country has received more than 290,000 doses of Pfizer and Sinovac, of which at least 170 have been lost, according to the Comptroller’s Office.
Lina María Aldana Acevedo, Comptroller Delegate for the Health Sector, assured that a technical table began to accompany this vaccination process, generating alerts so that it progresses correctly throughout the country.
Among the alerts, the point of the loss of vaccines was addressed, since many Colombians were concerned because they related it to corruption, however, the comptroller assured that it is the procedure.
“We have found that the losses of vaccines have been in the procedures and not due to robbery or theft,” she said in dialogue with Caracol Radio.
She stressed that they are aware that in the vaccination process there is a percentage of losses because the vaccines arrive in a vial and a dilution must be made and a number of doses must be taken from it, if this procedure is not done well, drops are lost and this added, ends up becoming some incomplete doses that cannot be applied.
“We have determined that there are flaws in the processing of vaccines and we have made an important alert, because when we cut to the February 22, we have 16 missed vaccines, then to 23 of February we find that they are 110 and as of February 24 there are already 170 ”, she stated on FM Radio.
For this reason, health personnel have been informed, so that the necessary measures are taken to correct this failure that is occurring in the procedure.
“We understand that there are losses in the process, but we warn that it is seen in an ascending way that it is not being manipulated correctly or the process is not being done well. Although vaccines have a loss percentage, the procedures must be applied correctly.” She mentioned.
Faced with this issue, the Minister of Health, Fernando Ruíz, had called on citizens to trust the control and accompaniment made by the entities in charge of this task, such as the Attorney General’s Office, the Comptroller’s Office and the National Superintendency of Health, which are always vigilant.
According to what was indicated by the official, “It may be feasible that at the time of application of the vaccine some of the liquid may be lost”.
He added that in the case of the Pfizer vaccine, the vial has six doses that are replaced with a diluent to make it more liquid and be able to inject it, and at that time or when it is extracted with the needle, a certain amount can be lost, which in the end means that not all six doses are given but only five.
“A dose could be missed due to the way the liquid is applied or withdrawn with the syringe and a little more dose may even be missed with each application and that reduces the number of doses. That is what can happen and obviously what must be had is adequate supervision of the process and in this learning curve we are in, these eventualities can occur”, Ruiz commented.
Another warning from the comptroller has to do with shortcomings in the cold chain for some specific vaccines, with the deep-freezing process such as those of Pfizer and Moderna.
In addition, the entity said that it will be attentive to compliance with the vaccination schedule, the amounts of the vaccine, the vaccinated population, among other aspects.
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