Vaccination against Covid: an nursing home at the time of the 3rd dose, between hope and resignation



March 7, 2020 should have been a big day for the Boris-Antonoff residence. To celebrate its 10th anniversary, this Ehpad managed by the Salvation Army Foundation invited 200 people: families, friends, elected officials… The residents made decorations and knitted scarves for the participants. Everything was ready, the feasts ordered, the garlands hung. But the Covid has arrived. And time has stood still. “At first, we left the decorations in the hallways, and then we ended up removing them in the summer. Given the context, it felt weird ”, remembers Isabelle Hodbert, medico-psychological aid and entertainment manager.

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A year and a half later, the epidemic continues to dictate the agendas. Here, as in the 7,000 institutions for the elderly in the territory, the time has come for the vaccine booster. “The marathon continues, says Doctor Tanneguy Pialoux, coordinating doctor responsible for supervising this new campaign. But this 3e dose was needed. For a month and a half, we have started to see the reappearance of clusters in nursing homes. Better not to take any risk… ”

100% of staff vaccinated

Of the 80 residents of the facility, 79 consented to the vaccination. “At the rate of twelve injections per day, we will have covered the entire nursing home by the end of the week”, calculates Doctor Pialoux, who will be able to rely on the whole team. In this residence, the vaccination obligation for caregivers, in force since September 15, has not resulted in either suspension or resignation. “There was some reluctance, but in the end, everyone played along”, rejoices the nurse coordinator, Christelle Morvan.

The residents go there with their eyes closed. “I am absolutely not worried, launches Mr. Belabre. It didn’t do anything to me the first two times, there is no reason for it to be any different this time! “ His breakfast barely swallowed, this 95-year-old man takes off his dressing gown and stretches his arm to the nurse without batting an eyelid. In good shape, he is one of the residents who regularly leave the nursing home, for a walk or a movie screening. “I have my health pass”, he said proudly, pointing to his smartphone.

Posted in front of her room, Ms. Colleu frowns. She has just learned that she will not be vaccinated today. “We cannot do all the injections at once, because there is a limited number of doses per vial, but by the end of the week, you will be vaccinated”, Isabelle Hodbert promises him. ” The earliest would be best “, replies Mme Colleu, who does not hide her weariness. “Will it ever end?” “, she asks, without knowing whether she is talking about the vaccination or the epidemic.

Need horizon

As an aside, Isabelle Hodbert recalls how difficult the past few months have been for residents. “There was a before and an after. “ During the first wave, only one resident caught the Covid, a very old man “Who did extremely well”, Christelle Morvan is still astonished. The second wave hit harder: three caregivers and as many residents affected, one of whom died. But the most persistent trauma remains the confinement. “For a week, we ate alone in our rooms, it was not funny”, remembers Mrs Colleu.

→ READ. Covid-19: Olivier Véran announces 3,000 suspensions of unvaccinated health workers

Since then, the visits have resumed, the animations too, but ” It’s not the same “, assures Isabelle Hodbert. “Before, we kissed each other in the morning, we had coffee together. Today, we each stay in our own corner, because we are still a little afraid of catching it ”, confides a young nurse.

Symbol of this “life before” which is slow to return, the missed party of March 2020 has remained in everyone’s mind. “The residents often tell us about it, but it is difficult to project ourselves, notes Isabelle Hodbert. On the one hand, we all need a horizon. On the other hand, we cannot afford to give them false hope. “

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