July 26, 2021

vaccination centers approach summer with uncertainty

In the Briqueterie vaccination center, in Schiltigheim (Bas-Rhin), a town of 32,000 inhabitants in the suburbs of Strasbourg, the injections are performed with music and some nocturnal events were the occasion for themed disco or samba evenings. Since the end of January, the team has thus succeeded in “Create links in the city”, assures Raymond Attuil, general practitioner in charge of the center, who is called in the street by enthusiasts: “So what’s on tonight’s schedule?” “

But, from July, the referring doctor decided to voluntarily reduce the vaccination rate, which until then had been maintained at around 400 injections per day. Difficulties in completing the schedules, fatigue of his team and vaccination volunteers who are rarer: the obstacles of the summer are multiple and convinced Raymond Attuil to ” lift the foot “.

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“To keep the good atmosphere of the team, I felt that we had to reduce the wing, we did not want to become an anonymous vaccinodrome”, explains the doctor. He therefore refused new dose allocations from the regional health agency (ARS) and, from mid-July, the center will only provide second injections. More recent neighboring centers and city medicine will take over.

Brain teaser

“Now we have to go get people with a lasso”, argues Mr. Attuil, for whom proximity medicine – like general practitioners and pharmacists – is best placed to convince the last hesitant. Especially since “Doses of Pfizer vaccines will soon be made available to city health professionals in certain vaccination centers”, announces the general direction of health.

Anticipating summer is proving to be a sizeable headache for vaccination centers that are accustomed to juggling unforeseen events since their opening.

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From January to March, the uncertainties stemmed mainly from the reduced and fluctuating number of doses allocated to each center, but now, while deliveries reached a record 28.4 million doses in June and are expected to remain at 23 million in July and in August, tensions are felt on the side of human resources. In small and medium-sized centers in rural and semi-rural areas, it is also the volunteers for vaccination who are gradually starting to run out.

In this equation with several unknowns, some make the choice of an activity in under-mode, while others bet somehow on a maintained rhythm. In any case, most of them have little visibility on their endowments, the horizon to be crossed being often fixed in mid-July. After this first step, these ephemeral structures will adapt, as they always have done until now.

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