Annie sighs in relief. ” There, it’s done ! ” At 72, this retiree affected by cancer last year and her husband have just been vaccinated against Covid. Not in a vaccinodrome, nor in the office of a general practitioner or in a pharmacy, but in their house in Lesdins, a village a few kilometers from Saint-Quentin.
“I’ve been making phone numbers for two months, Annie says as she pulls up the left sleeve of her T-shirt, covering the tiny red dot the bite left on her arm. There was never a date. The pharmacy eventually gave me one, but it was only in May. “
A very distant date for this grandmother who is eager to find her grandchildren, eight “Little demons” whose photographs line the walls of his living room. Annie was especially afraid of leaving her house. “My husband has Alzheimer’s, she whispers aside. As soon as I let go he escapes. I don’t even dare to do the shopping anymore, we have it delivered. “
→ REPORT. “I am reassured”: at the Stade de France vaccinodrome, priority for the Sequano-Dionysians
It is for this couple, and for a hundred other inhabitants identified in the surrounding municipalities, that the town hall of Saint-Quentin has embarked on mobile vaccination, in addition to the vaccination center installed in the city center. “We are in a rural area, recalls Luc Dufour, one of the pilots of the device. Some people cannot come to Saint-Quentin, either because they have no family to take them, or because their movement requires extremely heavy means, especially when they are bedridden. “
A specific allocation from the ARS
The doses of vaccines, from Pfizer, come from a specific allocation from the Regional Health Agency. As for the team of vaccinators, it changes every week and always consists of a doctor and at least one nurse. That day, it was Doctor Françoise Jacob, retired ENT doctor and deputy mayor of Saint-Quentin, who headed the operations, supported by two volunteer nurses, Mathilde Applaincourt and Anne Brasseur.
While in the vaccination center, injections can be counted in the hundreds every day, the mobile unit only takes care of about ten patients per half-day of the tour. Because vaccinating at home takes time – an average of twenty minutes per patient. “The bite is just a few seconds. It’s all around that is long ”, sums up Anne.
Before the injection, complete the administrative papers, question people about their state of health, take their temperature. After the injection, stay with them for fifteen minutes and take their blood pressure to make sure that “Do not push an ear or a third arm to him”, quips Luc Dufour. Not to mention the time that caregivers spend reassuring about the side effects of the vaccine or simply explaining what they are doing there.
Like Angèle, whom the team finds lying in an armchair, her eyes riveted on her television, as if cut off from the world. “She has had several falls, she no longer wants to walk and does not speak much”, specifies Sonia, her carer, while Mathilde details each of her gestures to the 90-year-old lady. “There you go, it’s over”, she hastens to reassure her once the product has been injected.
If Angela remains imperturbable, Sonia’s face lights up. For weeks, this mother has barely been outside for fear of catching the virus and infecting the old lady. Yet she refuses to be vaccinated. “For me, it would be AstraZeneca, but with everything they say, I don’t want it”, she blurted out. Doctor Jacob interrupts him: “At the Saint-Quentin vaccination center, we use Pfizer for caregivers. Do it, like that, you will be protected! ” Sonia pauses. ” Perhaps, she mumbles. I’ll think about it. “
On the dining room table, nurses left a note for the attention of the municipal team. They have patients “Bedridden” who also urgently need immunization. “We will call them”, promises Doctor Jacob, stuffing the post-it into his coat pocket. Angela will receive the second dose of the vaccine in a month.
The challenge of isolated audiences
Since March 26, nurses, until then only authorized to administer the anti-Covid vaccine, can also prescribe it. A new prerogative which, according to the authorities, should facilitate home vaccination and make it possible to reach the most isolated people.
Three months after the start of the vaccination, About 64% of people aged 75 and over have received at least one dose, according to the health ministry. Of these, half have already received the second dose.
From April 16, vaccination will be open to those over 60 without comorbidities. It will be extended to over 50s from mid-May, then to under 50s a month later.