Around One Hundred Employees in the Štip Hospital Are Not Vaccinated
Out of nearly 500 employees in the hospital in Štip, hundreds are unvaccinated, but as the hospital informs, these are people who have recovered from the coronavirus. Unlike their colleagues in the hospital, in the Health Center “Dr. Panče Karagjozov” only a few have not been vaccinated. These days, mainly elderly patients come to the vaccination points in the Health Center in Štip – over 65 years old, who have received a vaccine from the Chinese “Sinofarm” and are asking for a booster dose. In less than a month, after the immunization with the third dose started, 3,100 patients from the Štip region have been vaccinated
Author: Vesna Kolovska
Almost one-fifth of the employees in the Clinical Hospital in Štip have not received any dose of vaccine against Covid-19. According to the management of the hospital, these are health workers who have recovered from Covid-19 and have not been vaccinated.
So far it has been a personal choice of the medics whether they will be vaccinated against Covid-19. However, the announced and prolonged measure of the Government, according to which the vaccine will become mandatory for them, will show their attitude first towards their own health, and then towards public health.
The director of the Clinical Hospital in Štip, Alen Gjeorgijev, says that so far the vaccination has been an individual choice.
Mandatory vaccination for health professionals is only an announced measure for now. Of the nearly 500 employees, hundreds remain unvaccinated, but these are people who have recovered from Covid-19, Gjeorgijev said for “Truthmeter”.
Unlike their colleagues in the hospital, in the Health Center “Dr Panče Karagjozov”, only a few have not been vaccinated.
The number of unvaccinated staff here is very low and they are mainly people with contraindications, – said Dr. Diana Milanova, vaccination coordinator.
The National Immunization Coordinator, Professor Aleksandra Grozdanova, recently sent a direct message to health professionals who have not yet been vaccinated against Covid-19. According to her, immunization of healthcare professionals should not even be up for discussion.
It is devastating for us that health professionals are promoters of non-vaccination, believe me, and professionally and ethically it is wrong, it is devastating that we do not have the full support of health professionals. If health workers are promoters of non-vaccination, if they do not believe in science and medicine, then they should not be part of health at all” – Grozdanova told reporters in an online interview (22 November 2021).
Dr. Grozdanova said that medics should not ask the question of vaccination against hepatitis, measles, influenza and other diseases and pointed to the example of the United States, where one can not enter a health institution without a vaccination card.
According to the president of the Association, Aleksandra Georgieva, every health worker who is not vaccinated contributes to fueling conspiracy theories about the Covid-19 pandemic.
Today, when the medical profession bears more responsibility than ever, when the world is at war with the invisible enemy, and most of the population is closely following the messages coming from the heroes of modern times, it is crucial that every health worker is vaccinated against Covid- 19 (unless there are medical contraindications for it). This will unequivocally show that vaccines are safe and secure to use. Moral responsibility goes beyond any legislation,– Georgieva told Truthmeter.
The Association of Trainees and Young Doctors hopes that all those working in hospitals across the country will not wait for the start of the implementation of the measures proposed by the Commission for Infectious Diseases, but will soon call the nearest vaccination point and perform their duty for protection of their own health and the health of those who they treat.
The older citizens of Štip came to get a booster from “Pfizer”
At the vaccination points in the Štip Health Center, where the immunization against Covid-19 is performed, these days mainly come older patients, over 65 years old, who had received a vaccine from the Chinese “Sinopharm” and demand a booster dose. These are people who are worried about their own health. Several months have passed since they received the second dose and they want to strengthen their immunity before winter. In less than a month, since the start of the third dose immunization, 3,100 patients have been vaccinated. Doctor Dijana Milanova in a statement for “Truthmeter” says that in this number are not only people from Štip but also from the wider region. As she explained, the “Pfizer” vaccine is stored at minus 80 degrees Celsius in refrigerators that are not possessed by the surrounding health centers, so those interested are sent to Štip.
For now, after the announcement of the new measures, there is no increase in the interest for vaccination. It seems that those who wanted to be vaccinated got vaccinated and now the same people come back for the third dose, said Dr. Milanova.
In Štip, according to the data from the records of the Štip Health Center, 130 patients are vaccinated per day or 630 per week. For comparison, in May this year, when there was the greatest interest, 1,780 vaccines against Covid-19 were applied per day. In May, 15,800 vaccines were applied at the vaccination points in Štip. So far, 35,000 citizens from Štip and the region have been vaccinated with the first and second doses. However, the exact number of vaccinated from Štip is known only by the administrators of “Moj termin”, emphasizes the Health Center.
There are young people among the vaccinated. The number of those aged 16-17 is lower compared to young people over 18 years old.
Vaccines against influenza and Covid-19 can be administered on the same day
In the same building of the Health Center, at one end these days patients come for a booster dose, while at the other end, where the Institute of Public Health is, they receive the flu vaccines. In the ten days since the start of immunization with free flu vaccines, 3,100 patients have been vaccinated, mostly the elderly and the chronically ill. Epidemiologist Dr Jasminka Sazdovska says that among the vaccinated there are 2-3 children from Radoviš.
The flu vaccine can be given to children older than nine months of age. Older patients are immunized every year and have no doubt whether they should be admitted. No one has reported side effects so far, – said Dr. Sazdovska for “Truthmeter”.
The question of whether the flu and the covid vaccine can be given at the same time was solved at the regular trainings for the health workers. These two vaccines can be received on the same day, but in practice, as Dr Sazdovska says, patients are cautious.
Patients choose to receive the flu vaccine first and then, after two weeks, when they have acquired immunity, return to the booster dose of Covid-19. Only two or three patients have received both vaccines on the same day. These are older people, who travel from their hometown to receive the vaccine or are less mobile and find it difficult to leave home, – says Dr. Sazdovska.
National Vaccination Coordinator Dr. Aleksandra Grozdanova cites recommendations from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and points out:
They said there was no problem in administering the two vaccines at the same time, in two different limbs. It can be done simultaneously, but also with a time interval of one week – 10 days, in order for the patient to feel well. We do not have such a practice of giving vaccines to adults at the same time, except for young children, while in some countries it is a practice.
According to the Ministry of Health, as of 21 November, a total of 822,751 citizens have been vaccinated at the state level, and 789,905 have been revaccinated.
63,137 citizens have received the third dose. Fifty-seven percent of citizens over the age of 40 have been vaccinated, and 33 percent of the population aged 18 to 39 has received at least one dose of the vaccine. The coverage with one-dose vaccination of the adult population is 58 percent, and two doses cover 47 percent of the citizens over 18 years, according to the report of the health authorities.
However, R. North Macedonia has a relatively low level of immunization against Covid-19. According to the number of vaccines applied, 39 percent of the entire population in our country is vaccinated, and 38 percent of the population in the country received two doses of vaccine.
This article has been produced as part of the Rapid Response to Vaccine Disinformation Project, implemented by the Metamorphosis Foundation. It was originally published in Truthmeter, and is made possible by the support of (BTD – The Balkan Trust for Democracy, a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States). The content of this article is the sole responsibility of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Metamorphosis, BTD or their partners.