Health Secretary Francisco Duque III yesterday appealed to the public to respect President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to receive the Covid-19 vaccine in private, but said he is hoping the Philippine leader will change his mind to boost Filipinos’ confidence in the serum.
Duterte initially said he is willing to take jabs in public to convince Filipinos that the Covid-19 vaccine is safe. However, Malacañang later said the President would be inoculated in private — since he wants to be vaccinated in the buttocks, thus requiring privacy.
“Let’s respect the words uttered by the President. But hopefully, he might still change his mind because we know that there are… some world leaders who have openly had themselves vaccinated in public,” Duque said in a mix of vernacular and English.
Asked whether authorities would administer vaccines in the buttocks, the Health chief explained that the Covid-19 vaccine would have the same effect even if it were injected through different parts of the body.
“The important question is: Would vaccines have the same effect if injected through the arms or buttocks? It’s the same because it would create an immune response,” Duque said.
Meanwhile, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said it is possible to inoculate other muscular parts of the body should there be indications that an individual’s arm cannot receive the vaccine.
“If one’s deltoid is emaciated or too thin, we can administer it in other parts of their body,” Vergeire said in a separate briefing.
“We can administer it on the anterolateral part of the thigh or the upper part of the butt. We can look for other parts to inoculate the vaccine if there’s indication that we can’t inject it to their arm,” he added.
The dorsogluteal muscle of the buttocks is among the recognized injection sites in the body, along with the upper arm, hip, and thigh — but health professionals tend to avoid it because of the potential risk of injury to nearby major blood vessels and nerves, as well as having inconsistent depth of adipose tissue.
As countries across the world have started their vaccination drives, some world leaders have been inoculated live on television to encourage their countrymen to get vaccinated.
Among them were United States President Joe Biden, US Vice President Kamala Harris and Indonesian President Joko Widodo.