Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Vaccine givers lacked gloves

NATIONAL GUARDSWOMAN MARIANNE Powell prepared doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine in the MUHS gym at a recent special clinic for Vermont educators. The Guard brought enough vaccine to inoculate 400 educators.

I was pleased to see the Vermont National Guard stepping up to provide COVID-19 vaccine to teachers in a photo spread in the March 18 Addison Independent, however I was shocked to see Guard members preparing vaccine without wearing gloves. There were several photos portraying members of the Guard actually; none were wearing gloves.
Correct me if I am wrong, but it is my understanding that nursing protocols require the wearing of gloves at all times when working with vaccine. This oversight is not what we need, when some people already have reservations about the safety of getting the vaccine.
Sean Parkyn
Sudbury
Editor’s note: We wondered, too, so we asked the Vermont National Guard about glove wearing. Here is what they had to say:
Hand Hygiene as well as proper use and wear of personal protective equipment are of the upmost importance for any immunization, especially during a pandemic. The Vermont National Guard values the safety of our patients and our service members comply with all Food and Drug Administration, Center for Disease Control and Vermont Department of Health guidance while executing the vaccination clinics in support of the Vermont Department of Health.
Per Center of Disease Control guidance, gloves are not required while handling the vaccine and the service members depicted in the image in the Independent are complying with their clinical training and CDC guidance.
For reference: cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/moderna/index.html
Under how to prepare the vaccine:
“Gloves are not required unless the person administering the vaccine is likely to come in contact with potentially infectious body fluids or has open lesions on the hands. If worn, perform hand hygiene and change gloves between patients.”
Respectfully,
Maj. J. Scott Detweiler
Acting State Public Affairs Officer
Vermont National Guard

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