“We are really very tired. Those who are vaccinated for the first time in order to have the green pass arrive very angry. And then they take it out on us. Just the day before yesterday we had to call the police. ” Since the pandemic started, Patrizia Laurenti, responsible of Covid 19 vaccination center of the Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome, he has seen thousands of people to be vaccinated. And for sure she is well trained to face tiring shifts and to stay under pressure. Yet, this time it does not hide a bit of discouragement.
Let’s start with the numbers. How many first doses have you done?
«Since the green pass became mandatory, our small hub at Gemelli has made almost two thousand doses, which basically means two thousand people have been protected. But it is clear that the third doses, which represent almost 75 percent of our daily activity, have great success right now. “
Who are the ‘latecomers’ of anticovid vaccination?
“There are different types of people. Generally, they are people who are afraid of prophylaxis for various reasons. For example, there are those who have always postponed, thinking that the other security measures are enough. Then come people who have objective health problems and who have not been vaccinated in large hubs, where counseling for time-consuming situations can be difficult. I am referring, for example, to allergy sufferers, or to those who have had anaphylactic shock, and who must be accompanied by allergy evaluation and premedication processes. And then come the most dangerous, the angry ones ».
The angry ones?
“Yes, they are people who when they arrive are very aggressive, so sometimes there are also fears that they will take it out on us and that they will pass from words to deeds”.
In what sense?
“It has often happened that we have been the object of aggression, for now only verbal. In those situations, it becomes really difficult to stay calm. We are tired, we have been working at these rhythms for a year, and now it is as if we had to somehow start over. We do it because it is important, but we are really tired ».
But why are they angry with you?
“We are the ones who are in the trenches. So, we are the people they meet when they come to vaccinate and on whom they think they can somehow pour out their anger. They do not understand that instead we are there for their good, then in the end. Or not?”.
But who convinced them to come?
«They do it for the green pass. And they are angry because they feel obliged to get vaccinated, otherwise they are excluded from social life. Instead I would turn the perspective, they must be grateful because this tool allows them to take back their life in their hands “.
So do they get vaccinated to be able to work?
“Of course. As we know there is an obligation for health workers. But now, for example, even the administrators who work in health facilities must be vaccinated ”.
What kind of people are the most ‘angry’?
«They are of different types, there are both people who have a good cultural level, but also people who are a bit simpler. They are between 50 and 60 years old, and are both male and female. Also yesterday, for example, two arrived, three very problematic… ».
How do you explain it?
“Some are hypochondriacs, others are in trouble, they are anxious. When I look through the medical history I realize from the drugs they take that unfortunately they are anxious people, and the anxiety has been heightened during these two years of the pandemic ».
But then they go away quietly?
“It depends. Some keep walking away angry. Just the day before yesterday we had to call the security, because then when there is the risk of verbal aggression we cannot manage them ».
But had something happened?
“They had misrepresented our recommendations, they accused us of not carefully assessing their health situation.”
Basically they wanted the exemption …
“Of course. Unfortunately there are those too. But the law is clear about who is entitled to it. On the other hand, there are people who demand exemption when, instead, for the disease they are carriers of, they are those who have priority over vaccination or even the booster dose. They really turn their perspective around. And there it is also difficult to make him understand that the point of view must be completely reversed ».
Are you afraid that the situation will degenerate one day?
“It can happen, in fact we have requested greater attention from the security services. We have posted the signage of the signs reminding that attacks on health personnel are a crime ».
You are tired…?
“Enough. We strive to continue in the same spirit as ever. Now, fortunately, the resources of the vaccination hubs have been strengthened a little, so there are new operators, we are realigning ourselves a bit. However, the suffering of the staff is a real problem. But we continue to vaccinate, as always, because we know that it is important to do so ».
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