Covid-19. Will a million people be vaccinated in nursing homes in January?

Vaccination in institutions for the elderly has not yet found its cruising speed. Out of more than 138,000 people who had received their first injection on Monday evening, there were only 27,761 elderly people residing in retirement homes (Ehpad), even though the latter constitute the priority target of the government.

During the holidays, only a few establishments have experimented with the vaccination of the elderly. The lack of available doses, the absence of personnel due to end-of-year holidays and the implementation of a protocol requiring time (obligation of a prior medical examination and the collection of consent) explained a sluggish start.

Last week there was again “Some mess in the delivery of vaccines”, admitted Florence Arnaiz-Maumé, general delegate of Synerpa (National Union of establishments and private residences for the elderly).

“We must boost”

Now, the vast majority of these establishments finally know the date on which the Pfizer vaccine will be delivered to them. “Many will be receiving the doses from next week. And the delivery of all nursing homes will take place in within three to four weeks », specifies Florence Arnaiz-Maumé.

In other words, the vaccine requiring two injections three weeks (or six) apart, all residents will not be truly protected against the coronavirus until “The end of February or the beginning of March”, we estimate at Synerpa.

The government’s goal of vaccinating one million people by the end of January in nursing homes, units for the elderly, and staff over 50 will therefore be difficult to achieve. “We must boost”, acknowledged, Tuesday January 12, the Minister Delegate in charge of Autonomy, Brigitte Bourguignon, on Public Senate.

Vaccinate relatives too?

For the latter, the vaccination campaign would meet little support among the staff of these establishments. Alone “20% accept the vaccination. In other sectors, such as the hospital environment, it is more widely accepted ”, she stressed. While specifying that a “National awareness campaign” could be launched soon.

To speed up the pace, Synerpa is proposing to extend vaccination in nursing homes to all those who revolve around these establishments: staff under 50, outside workers and residents’ families. “When we transform a dining room into a treatment room, we vaccinate thirty or forty people, where we could vaccinate 120”, insists Florence Arnaiz-Maumé.

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The latter, in any case, repeats it: the consent of residents can be obtained orally or in writing. “And there is no withdrawal period in the event of an agreement. The person can withdraw at any time. “

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