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The story of how frontline nurses in Mexico fight with their bosses and get the vaccine

Rebeca Díaz arrived on time for the appointment. The puncture was not given to him at Military Camp No.1 in Mexico City as when they vaccinated the first group of doctors, but at the National Perinatology Institute (Inper), weeks after he denounced that the front-line personnel had not been immunized, but the vaccines had been administered to hospital managers.

By Gardenia Mendoza

Mexico, February 7 (LaOpinión) .- The nurse Felisa lopez has not cared for its COVID-19 infected patients with such fear since last Wednesday because they already applied the vaccine. It was after a long fight in the National Institute of Perinatology (Inper) because their bosses had preferred to vaccinate themselves rather than those who work on the front line against the coronavirus.

“You feel a great relief,” he described shortly after receiving the first of two doses of the Pfizer formula. “We are very grateful to this newspaper.”

In mid-February, Felisa López, Rebeca Díaz, Idalia Rodríguez and a group of nurses from Inper approached The opinion, through this reporter, to reveal the abuses of authority that exposed them to mortal risk in every minute of their working life.

Their names were changed for fear of retaliation from their superiors because they revealed that only 60 people of the institute’s 500 nurses and other health workers had been vaccinated despite government policies to give priority to all those in contact with the pandemic in public hospitals.

Doctor protests the lack of COVID vaccines. Photo: Michael Balam, Cuartoscuro.

The protesters had personally manifested themselves before the institute’s nursing directive, Alejandra Antonio, and in writing before the Ministry of Health. They had testimonies of vaccination to people who had never seen a COVID patient in the Inper but who had been immunized because they were friends of the bosses.

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THE CHIEFS ALSO GET VACCINATED

All this was made public in The opinion and shortly after the hospital director called the injured nurses to give them the dates to be vaccinated: January 31 and February 1 and 2. So it was.

“He denied that he or his friends from the private sector had been vaccinated in our place as was rumored and then he gave us his word that they would give us the first dose soon,” says Rebeca Díaz. “But he did not say either, and we stopped asking him if there would be any sanction against those who did get vaccinated without their corresponding.”

Vaccination in Campeche. Photo: Michael Balam, Cuartoscuro.

Instead, they agreed to form a committee to monitor the fulfillment of that promise. To begin with, there would be a list with the name of all the nurses who are in daily contact with COVID patients because last time there was no or it was not very accurate and the registration system became chaotic.

Later, at 10 p.m. on January 30, some were scheduled for vaccination the next day at eight in the morning. “Everything was very fast and we could not believe it, we were happy,” acknowledges Felisa López even from anonymity because she notices that her boss is angry because they talked about it.

OTHER PROBLEMS

Rebeca Díaz arrived on time for the appointment. The puncture was not given at Military Camp No.1 in Mexico City as when the first group was vaccinated, but right there at Inper. The first thing that crossed her mind was the doubt that if they would apply the Pfizer formula to her or would it just be a placebo so that she and the other nurses would stop bothering her.

It is that here, in Mexico, everything is possible. Like those doses of water that the former governor of Veracruz, Javier Duarte, gave to babies so as not to buy vaccines and keep the money. Everything is possible, concludes Rebeca. Then she observed that there were people from the National Guard, like in Military Camp No. 1, and she said to herself “now, Rebeca, don’t be paranoid.” Anyway, he asked to see the flask before uncovering his shoulder. Yes, said Pfizer

He had no reaction, nor did anything but his arm hurt. Something normal, like when you get any other vaccine. She learned that one of her colleagues had a body paralysis for a couple of hours, supposedly from hypertension, but no one else.

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