In the early hours of the morning of this Thursday, Venezuelans older than 60 years of age, selected through the Patria System, began to arrive for the start of the COVID-19 mass vaccination campaign, carried out at Ana Francisca Pérez de León II and Domingo Luciani hospitals, both located in the Sucre municipality of Miranda state (Caracas).
Dr. Zayra Medina, director of Pérez de León II hospital, was in charge of welcoming the patients who would receive the first dose of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, shown to be 92% effective in studies, without presenting major side effects.
In strict compliance with all biosafety protocols, especially the use of masks, respect for social distancing, and hand disinfection, the elderly citizens, mostly residents of Petare and surrounding areas, were led to a tent, and waited their turn to get vaccinated.
Before being vaccinated, the doctor explained to the patients the immunization process, the characteristics of the vaccine and the care they should take after receiving the injection. She stressed that there are no contraindications to older adults who have some age-related pathology.
Each of the patients is asked about their state of health, their medical history, their recent meals, and then they are taken to the vaccination room.
Among the older adults was Irma Hernández, 64, a neighbor of the Unión de Petare neighborhood. She was at home when she received the call to inform her that she had been selected to participate in the vaccination journey. “I immediately said yes, I wanted to participate, and they summoned me to the Pérez de León hospital,” she said.
Very early in the morning, Irma arrived at the healthcare center, and eagerly waited for her turn to get vaccinated. “I am grateful to President Nicolás Maduro, who in the midst of all this blockade and economic sanctions, has managed to start bringing in vaccines, has given older adults priority, taking into account that we are a high-risk population,” commented Hernández.
Omar Luna, 60 years old, from the El Esfuerzo de Petare neighborhood, was also among the group of seniors to be vaccinated on the first day. He recounted that he logged into the Patria system, and answered the survey on COVID-19. Days later, while at his home, they called him to tell him that he could be vaccinated, that it was a voluntary process, “to which I went, without major problems, and I was vaccinated for free,” said Luna.
Almost one thousand benefited
Dr. María Isabel Álvarez, director of the metropolitan healthcare system, pointed out that in this first stage, 927 older adults were being served, selected and organized through the Patria [homeland identity card] system.
Featured image: The Russian Sputnik V vaccine has been shown to be 92% effective. Photo courtesy of Ultimas Noticias.
(Ultimas Noticias) by Olga Maribel Navas
Translation: Orinoco Tribune