August 4, 2021

“Before the president’s intervention, there was no one there. Now it’s madness “

Since the Head of State announced, on July 12, the extension of the health pass to go to the café, the cinema, the theater, the leisure park, the shopping center or to travel, it is the rush on the vaccine. In one week, the Doctolib platform recorded nearly 3.7 million appointments for a first injection. A sudden surge that puts pressure on the vaccination centers.

This is the case of the one installed on the forecourt of the Hôtel de Ville in Paris. Attendance at the place opened at the end of June and managed by the Red Cross has almost doubled since the presidential address. From 600 to 700 per day, the number of vaccinated jumped to around a thousand. In front of the huge white tent, the wait is proportional to the length of the line: sometimes more than three hours. “Anti-Covid mediators” (MLAC) on a “go to” mission in Paris-Plage come to lend a hand to manage the flows and the frustrations. “Before the president’s intervention, there was no one there. Now it’s madness “, says Fatoumata, dreadlocks, orange vest and MLAC badge, advising the latest arrivals to come back early the next morning.

“We try not to slip too much and to close on time. It is essential to spare the teams, says Florent Vallée, operations manager at the Red Cross. Everyone is very strong willed, but everyone is exhausted at the end of the day. ” The center is open seven days a week, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 9 p.m. on weekends. “We are designed to receive 700 people per day. A thousand things are going well, but if we still have to step up, we will have to extend the schedules and therefore call on additional teams ”, warns Mr. Vallée.

” I do not have a choice “

Facilities are also reaching their limits. If the 10 boxes are not yet all used simultaneously, the space to respect the quarter of an hour of post-injection observation is not expandable. “This is what will block us if we do not extend the opening hours”, he anticipates. For the doses, no shortage in sight for the week ahead. Beyond that, if the craze continues, there is no other choice but to readjust the allowances upwards.

From the “command room” from the vaccine park at the Parc des Expositions at Porte de Versailles in Paris, we check the attendance in real time. And it has not weakened since Emmanuel Macron’s speech. But, unlike the forecourt of the Town Hall, almost no waiting. It must be said that the organization is on the line. Last hour vaccine candidates – like those in the first – are referred to one of the four immunization subunits. The Paris fire brigade (BSPP), which manages the vaccination center, the largest in the capital, is a military unit. We’re running at a walk.

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