Once the almanac of the virus Has gone through its first year of drama and uncertainty the vaccinators of public health have burst in like the lighthouse keepers who project a blast of light on the dark horizon. They are the ambassadors of the trade that is injecting a ray of hope into the pandemic. Have been predestined to show the hypothetical way that leads to the exit in a labyrinth that, at times, seems unsolvable. This task issues them a passport crossed by commitment and a sense of responsibility. It is corroborated by the testimonies of four professionals from the Andalusian Health Service (SAS), involved in the vaccination campaign against the coronavirus in the province of Malaga, when they tell in the first person how they are living this experience.
The complex and exciting mission that health personnel embraces acquires a dimension full of details in the prints of José Carlos Anaya, who is in charge of the teams that administer the Covid vaccine at the Hospital Clínico de Málaga: “All of us within the team have completed the vaccination course; normally, what I do is coordinate the doses, the appointments and the professionals so that not even a single dose is lacking and, if I have to get vaccinated, also beef “.
If the words of this head of the Diagnosis Support block at the Malaga university hospital, which has been entrusted with the task of coordinating vaccinators and PCR teams, are followed, “the health personnel are living an experience that is quite stressful and very laborious as something rewarding “. “We have to vaccinate our hospital population, which amounts to 5,000 people, and therefore we have to vaccinate 10,000 because there are two doses for each of them; it is stressful and at the same time gratifying because you feel how people see a little light and of hope every time we give them the vaccine, they ask to see themselves reflected in a photograph when we are putting the first dose and they leave there happy, with a little less fear, “explains José Carlos Anaya.
This public health professional also explains that is in charge of four teams of three people permanently, and sometimes they have worked simultaneously up to six teams. In each of these groups, there are three members because, according to José Carlos Anaya, “one has to load, another has to vaccinate and another has to register “. “We rotate between all of us in each of these steps: vaccination is the least tedious of these three functions, the load must be very precise as six doses have to be taken out of a vial, and registration is tedious, since we have to check that the patient is the patient, apply the vaccine with the batch and automatically make the appointment because until it is reflected, permission for vaccination is not given, “he emphasizes.
This story is expanded by the situations experienced in recent weeks that it provides Jesus Mejias. Currently, this Preventive Medicine nurse from the Regional Hospital of the Malaga capital is in charge of coordinate vaccination teams against Covid in Maternal and Child and, previously, it did the same in the matrix of the hospital complex that is still known by many people from Malaga as “the Carlos Haya”.
Jesús Mejías dissects, through his reflections, the long-distance race in which the health system is immersed: “This goes for a long time because – although many people think otherwise – it is not just about administering the doseAt the end of the day, in the process, this is the fastest and easiest thing, behind there is a brutal work of logistics and organization “.
This nurse does not tiptoe over the bathroom of reality that prints day to day and remember that the current situation also introduces problems when organizing health personnel: “We are overlapping several things, the vaccination campaign is being carried out and, in addition, a third wave of the pandemic has come to us in full; We have all the professionals giving 200% at all points of the hospital, we need personnel to vaccinate but the rest of the hospital also needs personnel to attend to the patients who arrive. ”
With this panorama lurking in the routine of health centers, Jesús Mejías reiterates that “the work is being organized very well because we are all giving 200% “. “From all the bad we have to get a good thing, and in the worst moment we health professionals have all known how to go to one; we must highlight the reaction capacity that from the first moment of the pandemic has had from the first person to the last – cleaners and cleaners, orderlies, doctors, nurses or administrators – to give everything they have and more, if it had not been impossible, “he emphasizes.
The progress of the vaccination campaign is also reflected in the work being carried out by other professionals, such as the coordinator of the Coín Clinical Management Unit, María del Carmen Serrano, and the nurse Cristóbal Hevilla. Both work in an area that includes the Coín Health Center, the Guaro and Monda offices and residences in the Guadalhorce Valley such as Sierra de las Nieves, Novocare or the center of the Association of Parents for the Disabled of Coín and its Region (Prodicco).
Maria del Carmen Serrano refers, as a starting point, to complexity ingredient that have introduced “vaccines that are different from the ones we usually handle”. Of course, it highlights the need to tenaciously face these types of obstacles and celebrates that “little by little, the way is being made.” “Although the entire population cannot be vaccinated yet, we are finishing many groups and we have already finished with the residences; for example, last Monday we finished with Prodicco -where we had a very important outbreak in the first waves- and just think that already We have them vaccinated and who can offer a solution to that residence, it is already important, “he assures.
Cristóbal Hevilla also remembers that the coronavirus “is more complicated than traditional vaccines and it is not as easy to get it as the flu vaccine”. Although in his arguments a most realistic position reigns, among the passages of his oratory those memories shine with their own light that illustrate the inevitable joy with which this remedy has been welcomed: “In the residences they welcome you with open arms as if you were a hero, as if you brought the blessing on their hands, and people thank you very much; everyone is willing to collaborate, those who are involved in this story and are living the risk that there is for the elderly have turned, in In general, there is very good collaboration and everyone is putting their shoulders, this is such a long slope that it is affecting many people emotionally and the vaccine is the only hope that they will have a normal life again “, expresses this nurse with that cocktail of harsh reality and blind trust, of the present and the future, that distills at this moment any glimpse aimed at redirecting the ravages of the pandemic.
“When I put the first dose I felt relief and saw the door at the end”
The changing and completely unknown scenario that the pandemic has brought is full of firsts. Of situations that are novel and initiatory even for those who treasure a remarkable experience and abundant knowledge for the exercise of their professions. This is the case, for example, of health personnel who – after participating in a previous training course – are in charge of administering the vaccine in the middle of the third wave against the coronavirus.
José Carlos Anaya, who works as coordinator of vaccination teams at the Hospital Clínico de Málaga, goes back to the first time he put this new vaccine: “I felt hope and relief because we saw that we were beginning to reach the endAt least one door could already be seen at the end, but we also feel sadness for our relatives since it is not their turn yet; You feel like a superhero because you are vaccinated – you have that luck although it is also true that you work face to face with Covid – but the double feeling exists, you always think that there are many people still to be vaccinated “.
In the case of Jesús Mejías, a preventive medicine nurse at the Regional Hospital, this ‘first time’ refers him to December 30: “That day was very exciting at the Carlos Haya, both those who administered the doses and the people who were administered we could see in our faces that we were happy and excited, it was like receiving that ray of hope that we had been waiting for so long and we believe that it will help us “.
On the other hand, the coordinator of the Clinical Management Unit of Coín, María del Carmen Serrano, goes back to “the joy “he felt the first day that the vaccine was already possible against the coronavirus: “In the first wave we were not yet aware of where all this could go, there was talk of the long-term vaccine and we thought we would overcome it before the vaccines arrived; but now in the third wave we see that the The only resource we have is the vaccine and, therefore, that day we felt joy and also a little fear, we checked things 40 times so that everything went well. ”
A colleague of his in the same health district, the nurse Cristóbal Hevilla, admits that in his first contact with the vaccine “many things” crossed his mind. “On the one hand, there was the hope that we all harbor that it could be the beginning of the end, that’s why we snorted and sighed wishing it would be like that; but, on the other hand, one is a professional, he has been dedicating himself to this for a few years and, as it is something unknown, there is a significant percentage of uncertainty that prevents you from getting more excited than you should, “says the nurse with a realistic tone.