The president of Las Condes Clinic’s board received a third dose of coronavirus vaccine after a recommendation from his physician. The wisdom and efficacy of third doses are still being analyzed by the Health Ministry. After the incident was reported to authorities, a nurse who made the report was fired.
The President of Las Condes Clinic’s board, Alejandro Gil Gómez, received a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine, after reportedly demanding the inoculation. This ended up with a sanitary summary by the Ministry Regional Secretary (SEREMI).
As reported by La Tercera, an email sent by the nurses who vaccinated Gil narrated the events: “[Gil] shows up at the box, talking on his phone, ignoring the patients who had gotten there before him .… He was joined by nurse Andrea Gaete, who asked us to vaccinate [him] with the Pfizer vaccine, since he had gotten tested for antibodies with non-reactive results.”
Gil had already received two doses of Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccine, and when the nurses told him that he wasn’t eligible to receive a third Pfizer dose, Gaete and Gil both insisted, claiming that he regularly went to high-risk areas. The nurses then proceeded to vaccinate Gil.
The two nurses later complained to their superiors, and, after one of them was identified, she was fired without compensation. This caused the head of the outpatient department, Leticia Ortiz, who had 15 years of experience at the Clinic, to quit her job in solidarity with the other nurse.
Ortiz was not the only one to leave the Clinic. The head of the Clinic’s medical body, Viviana Herskovic, wrote a letter in which she, too, resigned and said that she was “saddened and ashamed with the news made public yesterday [July 7]. It seems that the ethical limits are not enough, and that fear has moved the line of what’s tolerable in the Clinic.”
Gil defended himself after the news was made public, talking to La Tercera and saying that the third dose had been recommended by his personal physician. When asked if he had any self-criticism about the incident, he simply said that the Clinic was working on its defense in response to the SEREMI summary.
The immunity provided by the Sinovac vaccine, which has been given to 77 percent of Chile’s population, has yet to be determined as to the new variants circulating in the country. A study by a group of investigators from Brazil, Spain, and the United States indicated that the vaccine was only 42 percent effective against the Brazilian variant for people over 70.
Studies as to its effectiveness against the Delta variant (the most recent variant to arrive in Chile, and one of the most contagious) have yet to be completed.
Scientists have posited the possibility of increased immunity with a third dose that mixes two different vaccines, like Sinovac and Pfizer. In conversation with Radio Pauta, the director of the Genome Regulation Center, Miguel Allende, said that “studies show that immunity can be strengthened if people have two versions of the vaccine.”
The Health Ministry still has under review the idea of a third dose, especially for people inoculated with the Sinovac vaccine.
Javiera is from Santiago de Chile, she is studying journalism at Universidad de Chile, since 2017 and doing her internship at Chile Today.