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Can’t we give ourselves the jab?

In order to speed up vaccinations some people are even asking “why can’t we vaccinate ourselves?” They point to diabetics, who wield a syringe, but medical professionals say self-vaccination isn’t a good idea. There are legal restrictions and many skills are required.

The coronavirus vaccination campaign sees unprecedented demand for people qualified to vaccinate, but administering a vaccine is one of the medical interventions that by law can only be carried out by a nurse or doctor. 

Could a quickie course on vaccination provide a solution? Karen Vansteenkiste, head of nursing at University Colleges Leuven Limburg, dismisses the idea: “Practising this skill isn’t too difficult, but there’s more to it than just administering the jab.  You need some acquaintance with the theory too.  You need to know what to look out for when you administer a jab as well as afterwards. You have to be able to give first aid too.  Just knowing how to administer the vaccine isn’t enough.”

Leuven University is calling on retired nursing staff to return to work to help sort the shortage of nursing staff and students too can play a role, but getting the man or woman on Tervuren omnibus to administer corona vaccines remains a no-no. 

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