Filipinos can check the COVID-19 vaccine syringe before and after the jab to make sure the immunization is successfully given, the Department of Health said following reports of a nurse failing to properly administer the jab in a viral video.
The viral video, taken by the vaccine recipient, showed how a volunteer nurse failed to push the COVID-19 vaccine from the syringe even as the needle was buried in the recipient's arm.
Makati Mayor Abby Binay said it was due to "human error" and asked for compassion and understanding for frontliners, who have been working since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
"Kung halimbawa po sa tingin ng ating vaccination sites na mas makakabuti po na ipakita natin sa ating mga kababayan ang hiringgilya (syringe) bago iturok at ang hiringgilya pagkatapos iturok, ito po ay aming susuportahan," Health Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire told reporters in an online briefing on Friday.
Vergeire said the DOH had no plans to penalize the erring nurse, adding that the incident was under investigation. If the action was found to be intentional, there will be consequences.
"Ito pong mga nakikita nating lapse in the processes, wala naman pong masamang intensyon. These are really just human errors na gusto nating i-improve in the coming days."
She said that all vaccinators undergo strict orientation, regardless of their experience. She said many of these vaccinators have prior experience yet they still undergo refresher courses on immunization.
"Sa bawat dating ng bakuna na bago, mayroon po tayong specific na orientation para diyan for all our vaccinators. Hindi lang 'yung mismong administration, pero pati 'yung storage n'yan, pati 'yung imbentaryo n'yan, 'yung paglalagay sa hiringilya from the vial," she said.
The DOH reminded healthcare workers to "take extra care and attention during inoculation," and assured the public that the agency was improving its COVID-19 vaccination protocol to avoid a repeat of the incident.
COVID-19 testing czar Vince Dizon on Friday said that the Philippines has administered some 11 million COVID-19 jabs since the vaccination program started in March 2021.