Niches taken by storm but not necessarily at the last minute: on Saturday, at the opening of the recall campaign to all adults, a Parisian Covid-19 vaccination center was mainly welcoming people who had long been eligible for the third injection.
“I made an appointment three weeks, a month ago”, well before the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, announced Thursday the extension of the recall campaign to the entire adult population, explains Marie -Jeanne Bernassau.
Coming to be vaccinated at the town hall of the 6th arrondissement, this resident of the district is one of the people with co-morbidities, and made sure to receive her booster dose exactly six months after her second dose.
“On Saturdays in general, the slots are taken upstream, these are people who had planned” for a long time to be vaccinated, explains Marc Jacono, the doctor in charge of the center.
Under the stone porch of the town hall, Ira is waiting for her second dose. She made an appointment “more than a month ago.
“I was waiting to see if other vaccines were going to be available, but a priori not, so you might as well get vaccinated with those,” she says. Like the other patients at the center, she will be administered the Pfizer vaccine, the only one available on site for the moment.
– “It’s going to blaze” –
At the other end of the chain, Ali Mostefakara has just had his booster dose administered and is patient in a room adjoining a vaccination box.
“It was a desire of my brother, a doctor, to get me vaccinated,” said the young man. “Following the speech (by Olivier Véran, Thursday), he said to me:” I took a seat for you because it will go up in flames. And he was right because I couldn’t take a seat on my own “on Doctolib, the medical appointment booking platform.
“It was impossible: even when the page says that there is only one minute left to wait, it starts again for 30 minutes”, assures Ali Mostefakara.
The appointments were in fact taken by storm: on Saturday noon, the Minister of Health Olivier Véran tweeted that “three million appointments” for a booster dose had been taken since Thursday at midday, in 48 hours.
And if the effect of the announcements of the Minister of Health was not yet felt Saturday morning at the town hall, the vaccination teams are preparing for an imminent influx of patients.
“We had a strong demand,” confirms Mayor Jean-Pierre Lecoq. “The 6th arrondissement being a central arrondissement, well served, many people who work, trade or walk say to themselves + why not have me injected my 3rd dose here? +”, Continues the elected LR.
As a result, the town hall permanently relocated three vaccination boxes, compared to two on certain days in September-October, when attendance at the center had declined.
With such a device, up to 300 doses can be injected daily, according to Marc Jacono.
“We still feel the effect of the announcements. Every Saturday is taken until the end of December, and during the week there are a few appointments but very few”, details the doctor.
To avoid the center being submerged, its hours could be extended. In addition, the town hall redirects people looking for a booster dose to pharmacies. But here too, demand has jumped: a neighborhood pharmacy is full until the end of December, another until February.