Vaccine butt shots an option for those with emaciated muscles: DOH

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 27 2021 02:12 PM | Updated as of Jan 27 2021 02:58 PM

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MANILA — The Department of Health on Wednesday explained that while uncommon, butt and leg shots are allowed in vaccine administration if the recipient does not have enough muscles on the arm.

This after Malacañang said that President Rodrigo Duterte will have his COVID-19 vaccine injected through his buttocks, which is why he cannot be vaccinated in public.

Malacañang did not explain why the President would need to get injected on his buttocks instead of his arm.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said he hopes the President would reconsider.

“Let’s respect. That is the choice of the President. But hopefully he might still change his mind because there are many world leaders who had themselves vaccinated in public,” he said during a televised event. 

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire meanwhile explained that vaccine manufacturers would have instructions on where to inject their vaccine.

“Most of these vaccines sinasabi intramuscular. Doon ipinapasok sa muscle at s'ya na nagpapakalat d'yan sa katawan,” she said during a Laging Handa briefing.

(Most of these vaccines suggest intramuscular injection. it will be injected in the muscle and that will allow the vaccine to be spread in the body.)

However, she said there are also instances when it is not possible to inject a person on the arm.

“Ang common practice po sa atin kapagka ang isang tao ay hindi pwede halimbawa ang deltoid (upper arm) area masyadong emaciated payat na payat na, binibigay natin sa ibang bahagi ng katawan katulad ng ibang parte na muscular po tinatawag,” she said.

(The common practice if a person has an emaciated or very thin upper arm muscle, we inject in other parts of the body that are muscular.)

“Pwedeng sa anterolateral part of the thigh or pwede rin po sa pwet nabibigay yan sa upper part of the butt. So maaari pong humanap ng ibang pwedeng pagsaksakan kung may indikasyo na hindi pwede sa kanyang braso ibigay,” she added.

(It can be in the anterolateral part of the thigh or on the upper part of the butt. So we can find other areas to administer the vaccine if there is an indication that it cannot be injected on the arm.)

Duque said the vaccine would still have the same effect and will still create antibodies against COVID-19 if injected on the buttocks. However, the protocol is usually to inject it on the arm since it is easier and faster.