The head of the INEM Northern delegation, António Barbosa, was removed from office after it became known that he had authorized vaccination against the covid-19 of professionals from a pastry shop in Porto, which is next to the institution’s facilities. This was confirmed by the doctor this Saturday afternoon at a press conference, where he explained that he had made that decision to avoid the imminent waste of vaccines that would otherwise go to waste.
António Barbosa said that he had made the place available, despite believing that he was able to continue. However, after 11 pm, the institute’s governing board issued a note stating that it had accepted the availability of António Barbosa, which implies his removal from office.
In the afternoon, António Barbosa explained that, on January 8, a Friday, and the last day of administration of the first dose of the vaccine, he was informed, after lunch, that there were 11 vaccines, already prepared in syringes, that had no recipient, since all professionals identified as priority by the delegation had already been vaccinated.
In order not to waste the doses, which, according to the doctor, would have to be administered as soon as possible in order not to lose properties, the latter decided, with the agreement of the team that was administering the vaccines, to have the professionals at a pastry shop next door questioned, whether they would be interested and available to receive the injection. Why these people? “It was only circumstantial. For reasons of proximity and safety, since being here next to it facilitated the monitoring of possible side effects ”, justified António Barbosa, who admits that there may have been employees from other contiguous establishments in the list of 11 people outside INEM who were vaccinated . “Throwing vaccines away would be immoral”, defended the clinician.
The doctor explained that although a period of 120 hours, that is, five days, is foreseen to use the vaccines after thawing a vial, after its contents are diluted and prepared in syringes, the use should be immediate. The norm of the Directorate-General for Health, which determines how to defrost, dilute and administer the vaccine from Pfizer / BioNTech, provides that the vaccine can only be administered “up to six hours after the time of dilution”, and must then be “to discard”.
The 11 people outside INEM also received the second dose of the vaccine, administered last Friday, admitted António Barbosa. In all, the Northern delegation vaccinated 469 people, more than a third of the 1266 vaccinated at INEM in four locations in the country.
In the note issued at night, the INEM board of directors guaranteed to wait “with serenity the development and the conclusions of the survey to be carried out by the General Inspection of Health Activities regarding the vaccination process against covid-19 that took place at INEM, ordered by the Ministry of Health, expressing full collaboration with that inspection service to find out the facts ”.
This Saturday, the Morning mail it advanced that the regional delegation of the North of INEM vaccinated the owners and employees of a pastry shop in Porto, contiguous to its facilities, during the vaccination process of its professionals considered priority, included in the first phase of the vaccination plan.
“We had 11 vaccines prepared, which resulted from the difficulty of understanding how many professionals could still be vaccinated. I must tell you that from the group of priority professionals there were six dozen who did not want to take [a vacina] or they had already taken it in other institutions where they work. The doses were prepared because we were having difficulty understanding who could come. I was aware and faced with the need [de as administrar]. At this point, the decision was the same. It was immoral to discard vaccines at a time like this ”, explained António Barbosa, ensuring that if this were not the decision, the vaccines would end up in the trash.
This is the second time that the vaccination process at INEM is news this week, being the first controversy motivated by the fact that several directors, advisers and other senior staff of the institution, professionals without priority, have received the vaccine. At the time, an official source at the institution explained to the PUBLIC that the sixth doses present in part of the vials were used, as well as those that could not be administered to priority professionals who were not inoculated due to the vaccine’s contraindications.
INEM issued an official statement on the matter last Thursday, denying “any and all accusations of personal favoritism in this process.” It is curious that one of the arguments used to justify the administration of the vaccine to 92 people from INEM who were not part of of the priority group, ends up being partially denied, in part, by this new case. preparation, would not allow the administration of these surplus doses to external people, and in environments external to INEM ”, argued the institution’s management.