First vaccinator from PGH says vaccine arrival offers a ‘glimmer of hope’ in PH fight vs COVID-19

Published February 16, 2021, 8:54 AM

by Noreen Jazul

Nurse Chareluck Santos is excited to have been given the “challenging” role of being the first COVID-19 vaccinator at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH).

(Agence France Presse / MANILA BULLETIN)

In an interview with CNN Philippines on Monday, Santos said she initially felt nervous upon learning that she will take on the role of the first vaccinator.

“I didn’t know kung magagawa ko po ba ng maayos ‘yung unang pagbabakuna (if I’ll be able to perform the vaccination well),” Santos, who serves as head nurse for the University of the Philippines (UP) Health Service, said.

While she feels nervous about her role, Santos said she is also excited to administer the first COVID-19 vaccine in PGH.

“We all believe that this is a glimmer of hope for those po na naapektuhan ng COVID (who were affected by COVID),” she said.

Santos said everyone at PGH feels elated with the arrival of the vaccines, saying it is a step forward towards eliminating COVID-19.

“Sa dami po ng pinagdaanan natin, hindi lang ng healthcare workers, pati po ng mga kapwa natin Pilipino, naniniwala po kaming lahat na ang bakuna ay isang step forward or isang hakbang patungo sa pagpuksa po nitong COVID-19 o ng pandemya (With everything that we’ve been through, not just the healthcare workdes, but every Filipino, we believe that the vaccine is a step foward towards eliminating COVID-19 or the pandemic),” she said.

Santos also shared that administering the vaccine will be a challenge since it’s different from the usual vaccines she has given to patients.

The head nurse said PGH will be receiving the Pfizer vaccine which has a different temperature requirement and needs to be handled with extra caution.

“May mga pagsasanay nga po kami na bawal po siyang i-shake kasi pag na shake mo po siya, kailangan itapon ‘yon o i-discard, so sayang naman po (In our training, we were told not to shake the vaccine, because once you shake it, it needs to be discarded, and that will be such a waste),” she said.

Based on their training, Santos said the Pfizer vaccine needs to be “inverted slowly ten times” before and after dilution of the medicine.